Tesla Hosts Event To Lobby For Saving Solar Power In Nevada
CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk and CEO of SolarCity Lyndon Rive organized an event on the night of March 16, 2016 as part of efforts to lobby legislators of Nevada for helping in development of solar power after the Public Utilities Commission took the decision to slash net metering. The event was held at the company’s under construction Gigafactory for political leaders of Nevada and topmost government officials.
SolarCity and Tesla executives held presentations. They were meant to be “forward-looking and educational” and the entire event included a tour of the battery-manufacturing factory. In December 2015, the change in net metering rules imposed 75% decrease in the price paid by electric utilities for power produced from solar panels installed on rooftops. Many other solar power companies have not installed solar panels in Nevada since then.
The situation was portrayed as a war between billionaires with SolarCity’s largest shareholder and Chairperson, Elon Musk, on a side and the owner of the energy group of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns the largest public utility of Nevada NV Energy and lobbied for changing net metering, on the other side.
Many groups of solar advocates have continued to lobby for legislators to interfere and compel the PUC to change its decision regarding net metering. Some owners of rooftop solar panels even filed class action litigation against the public utility.
Recently, Warren Buffett defended the position taken by his company during a television interview. Now the latest efforts to safeguard solar power in Nevada were made during the event. Vegas Inc. published a list of the confirmed guests at the tech event.
Tesla co-founder and chief technology officer, JB Straubel, gave a presentation at the occasion. He was followed by Lyndon Rive. Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio were also present at the event. Attendees toured the first phase of the factory.
The legislators, representing both political parties and legislatures, Senate and Assembly, including Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford Vegas and Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, attended the event. Executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Steve Hill also attended the event in which media wasn’t invited.
Lyndon shared vision regarding the future energy of Nevada to the legislators after the completion of the tour, which would cut down dependence on fossil fuels. The state is at a turning point where it must concentrate on power-storage devices and solar technology.
The renewable power company says the new charges now do not provide customers with substantial credits to produce excessive power through the installation of rooftop solar systems.
Chief of SolarCity also thanked Tesla for providing a factory to show the future of the renewable power generated in the state. In February 2016, car manufacturer also took the stance against the slash net metering, not agreeing with the imposition of greater fixed rates on rooftop customers. The officials, who toured the factory, passed a law in 2015 instructing the commission to determine new metering charges. The issue may emerge again in 2017.