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Nevada Solar Power Facts in 2022

Nevada Solar Program

Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is an ambitious set of instructions aiming at reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, increasing NV energy independence, and doing all that by relying on renewable sources. However, Nevada is poor in Geothermal Energy and Wind Energy. The way to go for this green-state to be is solar energy. 

Nevada, the Battle Born State, has a lot of open lands and is bathed in the sun year long. It has one of the best solar potentials in the USA and it seems to be determined to use this potential for a greater good: supplying Nevadans with clean, renewable energy. 

As the price of solar PV panels dropped, the NV state saw a sudden increase in both the number of solar installations and their size. In just 10 years, solar in Nevada went from 104.7MW to 3,871.7MW of solar capacity. Comparing that to solar panels in North Carolina and solar panels in South Carolina, you can see that Nevada follows a similar trend. 

With advances in technology and ever-dropping prices of solar PV systems, solar panel installation is becoming more affordable and ever-more present on the NV soil. With several mega-projects that have been carried out and several large-scale solar farms yet to come, the solar business is booming in NV. 

Nevada Solar Energy Data

According to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Renewable NV, Energy is one of the larger economic branches. It accounts for 15.27% of Nevada power production. With 94 solar companies working in NV, it is also a large employer, with around 6,170 solar jobs in the state. 

With Nevada solar panel installations of 3,903.8MW, it ranks 6th in the USA solar power installed. This much renewable energy can supply up to 627,000 Nevada homeowners and their families with cheap, clean electricity. Property owners in Nevada can have upwards of 78% savings on their electric bills

The affordable price of solar installations, starting from $12,450, and significant subsidies and tax credits enable Nevadans to easily switch from their current company to energy independence. The payoff period of 7.5-10 years is short enough for the investment to return, which is a shorter ROI period than investing in bonds or the stock market. 

Nevada Solar Statistics

DescriptionStatus
Nevada National Ranking6th
Solar Installed(MW)3,903.8 MW
Can Supply Power to: (No. of Homes)+672,000
% of State's Electricity from Solar15.27%
Solar Companies in the State94 (14 Manufacturers, 43 Solar Installers and Developers, and 37 Others)
Solar Jobs Created6,174
Total Solar Investment in the State$7.8 Billion
Out of Pocket Cost for a 5kWh system$12,450-$16,800
Net 20-year savings$29,000-$39,300
Average Payback Period7.5-10 years
Electricity Bill Offset for a 5kWh system+78%
Number of Solar Installations+67,650

The majority of 67,650 solar installations in Nevada are residential solar power installations. Besides these, Nevada has invested a significant amount of money into large-scale solar farms capable of supplying renewable electricity to tens of thousands of homes. The 43 home solar installing companies operating in Nevada are significant employers in the state. 

Notable Solar Installations in Nevada

There are several commercial solar projects in Nevada. Among the largest are: 

  1. The Gemini Solar Project (UNDER CONSTRUCTION close to Las Vegas) – the capacity of 690MW should provide enough solar power to 115,000 Nevada households; 
  2. Copper Mountain 3 – can produce as much as 250MW of electricity, enough to power 41,000 Nevada homes; 
  3. Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project – this project can produce 110MW of clean electricity. It can power over 18,000 NV homes; 
  4. Nevada Solar One – this is a concentrated solar power plant with a capacity of 64MW, enough to power around 10,000 NC homes with electricity. 

Is it Worth it to Buy Solar Panels in Nevada?

Yes, solar panels in Nevada are an excellent investment. Over the last 10 years, the price of the solar energy system has dropped over 80% and around 45% in the past five years. Their solar efficiency and power output have risen so that residential solar homeowners can see upwards of 78% of savings on their monthly bills. 

Furthermore, as a part of their green initiative, the US Government offers a 26% Federal Solar tax credit for anyone who decides to go solar in the USA. Their tax incentives can be combined with other incentives that individual states offer. The savings that you can make this way are upwards of 50% for a new solar installation. 

Average Cost of Solar Energy Systems

Nevada solar power system costs can fall anywhere between $10,300 and $14,600. The final price depends on various factors, so always discussing your energy needs and the solar potential of your household with a solar advisor is a sure way to go for the right solar deal. 

Many factors can influence the price of your solar installation. Factors such as your energy needs, the size of your roof, the tilt and the orientation of your house, as well as the type of panels you would like to install, are all factors to consider. 

Your energy needs will directly influence the size of your solar installation. The higher the needs, the more solar panels you may need to install. The average cost of solar energy systems per Watt of renewable energy they can produce is around $2.17- $2.93. You can get an insight into your energy needs by referring to your electric bill: you need to calculate the annual electricity spent and divide it by 12 to get your average monthly power consumption. This is how much solar electricity you need to produce.

The size of your roof and its orientation can also influence the size of the solar system you need. The bigger the roof, the more panels you can put on, but this is not always the ideal solution, because the price rises with each new solar panel. Furthermore, if your roof does not have good orientation, it may happen that the panels cannot reach their maximum efficiency, which means you may need to invest even more to get the same power output. 

Always beware of these factors. They can significantly increase or decrease your solar payback period and may turn an investment into wasted money if not calculated carefully. If you have any neighbors who have experience with solar PV, ask around and see what their experience with solar is. 

Solar Panel Energy Production in Nevada

Solar Panel Energy Production in Nevada is seeing an upward trend. From the humble beginnings back in 2007, when there was only 18.8MW of solar systems installed, year by year, there has been a growth in the surface under solar panels. The slowest growing year was 2009, with only around 6% growth, while the best one was 2007 itself when there was a 548% change in favor of solar. 

Despite the 2015 net metering in Nevada controversy, the public wanted the system to be reinstated and so, by the end of the same year, Nevada net metering was reinstated. It has re-enabled solar homeowners in Nevada to save some money on their monthly bills and has also enabled them to expand solar in the state. 

Nevada Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

The Silver State boasts a lot of sunny hours per year – up to 3,830. This means that any solar system, however small, can produce a lot of renewable energy. Make sure you use the solar power that otherwise goes to waste and install solar systems as of today.

NV energy consumption for an average household is around 1,000 kilowatt-hour a month, so this should be your starting point in understanding your energy needs and the solar system size you need. NV offers several Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program.

Nevada’s strongest solar incentives program is its strong net metering policy. Depending on where you live and what company you use, you can get anywhere between 75% to 95% of solar credits with your utility company. This means that for every 10kWh you produce during the day, you will get anywhere between 7.5-9.5kWh back during the night, almost equal to getting full electricity rates

Furthermore, the Federal Solar Tax Credit means that you can get up to 26% of your money back in the form of tax credits. You can then subtract federal tax credit from the actual taxes you owe to the Federal Government. 

If you owe no federal taxes, e.g. they are withheld from your paycheck, you can get this money back in the form of a tax return. Furthermore, if you pay taxes yourself, you may take up to 26% of your solar system value and subtract it from the taxes you owe. If you owe fewer federal taxes than 26% of your solar system’s value, you can take the rest next year. 

Nevada revised statutes to make sure everyone has solar access. These laws prevent any other legal document from limiting your access to solar power. Nevada solar power can be installed on your property without any worries that your local HOA can limit your right to do so. New regulations also require utilities to offer net metering to their solar customers.

DescriptionEquivalent Cost
The Cost of PV - 10kWh at an average of $2.55 per Watt DC$25,500
The Federal Solar Tax Credit @26%$6,630
Total Energy Bill Savings per year$1,500
Total cost for a 10kWh solar system at the end of year 1$17,370
Years before a 10kWh system pays off if all of Nevada solar incentives are taken 7.5-10 years

Top Solar Companies in Nevada

There are many Solar Companies in Nevada. Choosing the best solar installer can be a hassle, so we went through the 43 Solar companies to choose the top 5 solar installers in NV for you:  

  1. Sol-up Inc, operates in Las Vegas,  
  2. Del Sol Energy, operates in Reno, 
  3. Elevation, this is a multi-state solar installer company, 
  4. LA SOLAR GROUP, also operates multi-state, 
  5. Tesla, multi-state solar installer. 

FAQs

What is the biggest problem with solar energy?

The biggest problem with solar renewable energy is that it is not available 24/7. Unlike wind and hydropower, solar power is available only during a part of the day, from dawn to sunset. However, there are two ways to avoid these limitations. 

The first way to avoid solar problems is the net metering system. Nevada is one of the states which has this system in place. This system allows you to feed excess energy to the electric grid when your production is higher than the consumption. It also allows you to take a large portion of that power, up to 95%, back when you don’t produce solar. 

The second way to avoid solar limitations is the installation of home solar energy storage systems. This energy storage system enables you to go completely off the electric grid and enable you to have power whenever you need it, regardless of the part of the day. However, the high price of battery storage makes many Nevada homeowners go for net metering. 

Is now a good time to buy solar panels?

The best time to buy solar panels in Nevada is now. The price of solar power has dropped by over 80% over the last ten years and around 45% in the last five years. The ability to install more efficient solar panel systems today and to do so at a much lower price will save you some money, increase your energy independence, and is also good for the environment

Is there net metering in Nevada?

Yes, Nevada solar power is subject to net metering. Back in 2015, regulations were changed and were not as favorable for private residential solar installations. After a public outcry, the regulations on net metering were reinstituted, so that now you can enjoy all the benefits of going solar with a smaller and more affordable solar system. 

Significant solar credits are in place, depending on your electricity company. If you have a contract with NV energy, you can receive up to 95% of excess energy back. The rate that is returned will reduce by 7% for every new 80MW of solar power installed, but will not fall down below 75%. This is great solar news and a great way to get full value out of your rooftop solar system. 

On the other hand, if you use Valley Electric Association, and you produce more solar than you can spend, you can get credited for excess solar at the same rate that you pay your utility company. With this utility company, you can cover all your electricity use for a year with a solar system large enough. 

Do solar panels cause global warming?

No, solar panels cause no global warming since there are no carbon emissions. Traditional methods of electricity generation for energy usages, such as coal and natural gas plants release huge amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and sulfur monoxide and pollute the atmosphere. The gasses that are released act as a blanket and keep the heat in the atmosphere and cause global warming. 

On the other hand, solar panel systems release no harmful greenhouse gasses. Some CO2 is released during their production, but that is about it. Your solar company can then install solar panels on your rooftop and you can enjoy clean energy and energy independence for years to come. With an operating life of over 25 years, solar panels will pay themselves off and make you some more money. 

Conclusion

Installing solar panels in Nevada is the right choice for existing and new homeowners in Silver State. Significant Federal Tax Incentives and great state regulations protect your right to go solar as of today. The initial investment into your rooftop solar system pays off within 7.5-10 years and your solar system can make money for you even after the solar payback period. With over 3,800 sunny hours a year, the solar potential of Nevada is as high as it gets and can help you save big. 

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