Throwing your money after your job — as well as giving while taking away

Dignitaries welcome SolarCity to Nevada. (R-J video frame grab)

Dignitaries welcome SolarCity to Nevada. (R-J video frame grab)

There was a big ceremony at Town Square as SolarCity — a company that installs rooftop solar panels at homes, businesses and government buildings — opened its new Las Vegas office with the help of a $1.2 million grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. It was in all the papers.

The company says it has hired about 130 employees so far and with plans to double its work force each year.

There was no mention of how of those jobs were cherry picked from the half dozen companies in Las Vegas that already perform the same work and have been paying taxes here for decades.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Gov. Brian Sandoval and U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Assemblyman David Bobzien and state Sens. Ruben Kihuen, Kelvin Atkinson, Michael Roberson and County Commissioner Steve Sisolak were on hand.

But does the right know what the left hand is doing?

No one mentioned the fact the Public Utilities Commission recently approved an NV Energy plan to slash the state’s solar panel rebates for schools and public buildings to just $1 per watt, according to Patrick McCully, executive director of Black Rock Solar, a company that does solar installations, writing in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Rebates had been as high as $5 per watt for “public buildings” and $4 per watt for homes. Homes and businesses now may qualify for a 30 percent federal solar tax credit.

McCully writes that NV Energy is now proposing rebates be cut to just 8.6 cents per watt. “For the case of a typical-sized solar project at a public school in rural Nevada, it would take about 45 years to pay off the cost of the array,” he writes, without mentioning that the panels typically last about 25 years.

Such cuts, he says, will destroy the financial viability of most installations.

Welcome to Nevada, SolarCity, hold on to your wallet.

11 comments on “Throwing your money after your job — as well as giving while taking away

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Nothing should offend Nevada citizens more than seeing Harry Reid appearing in Nevada, the conquering hero deigns to come down from Olympus to stick it to rate payers while amidst worshippers, no doubt as carefully selected as Obama’s audiences. Governor Sandoval and Rep. Heck was among them, if I deign to vote in future elections it won’t be for any of the three.

  2. Bull McGee says:

    By 2021, they’ll have more employees than Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and Caesar’s Palace combined !!!
    I like the under !

  3. Steve says:

    Look! A complete photo credit!

    Man is the RJ ever going to realize just how much its missing its real editor.

  4. Wendy Ellis says:

    Seems that not long ago, I saw Governor Sandoval at a ribbon cutting ceremony in North Las Vegas:
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/25/some-200-laid-north-las-vegas-amonix-solar-plant/
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/economy/amonix-closes-north-las-vegas-solar-plant-after-14-months

    Shall we add SolarCity to the list below? There are several Nevada companies on it:
    http://www.gop.com/news/research/more-some/

    I don’t know what the Republicans are smiling about at the SolarCity ceremony! I take that back. It probably has to do with green: the kind you put in your wallet, the kind that funds campaigns.

    The worst thing is, that taxpayers and rate payers are footing the bill for the industry, and the rebates, and the rebate programs. So the PUCN has allowed NVE to cut back on the rebate program. It never should have existed. Look at all the companies that will now fail, and that we will have to cover. All these jobs will be lost now. The problem is, many of these companies and the jobs were dependent on other people’s money, not free market competition.

    All over the world, as green subsidies are cut, and solar companies blame the Chinese (probably for good reason), more people end up on the unemployment line:
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/09/three-solar-firms-file-for-bankruptcy-in-a-week/

    As far as NVE’s solar rebate program cuts are concerned, does anyone really believe that this will result in decreased costs to consumers?

  5. Actually, NVE will ask for higher rates to make up for the sales lost to people generating their own power with solar panels.

    ________________________________

  6. […] this month, there was a big ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Las Vegas office of SolarCity, which was enticed to open here with a $1.2 million […]

  7. […] tell me again why the Governor’s Office of Economic Development gave SolarCity $1.2 million to open an office in Las Vegas, even though SolarCity already operated in 13 states and more than a […]

  8. […] tell me again why Nevada taxpayers handed SolarCity $1.2 million to open an office in Las Vegas to compete against existing companies that install rooftop solar […]

  9. […] tell us again why Nevada taxpayers handed SolarCity $1.2 million to open an office in Las Vegas to compete against existing companies that install rooftop solar […]

  10. […] was a big ceremony at Town Square this pasts August as SolarCity — a company that installs rooftop solar panels at […]

  11. […] Governor’s Office of Economic Development agreed to dole out $1.2 million to attract a branch of SolarCity to Nevada, where it is installing rooftop solar panels to reduce […]

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