Nevada is a formidable competitor in the solar energy industry. This state has more than 64,000 certified solar installations with a total installed capacity of 3,871.68 MW, and it produces enough solar energy to meet 14.70 percent of its electricity needs, which is equivalent to powering more than 667,000 homes. Nevada plans to increase its total solar capacity by 111.73 percent over the next five years, with a goal of installing 8,107.7 megawatts (MW) of solar-powered generation systems.In the last five years, this state has made incredible strides in the development of the solar energy industry in the United States. During the period 2020-2021, Nevada rose from 12th to 6th best state in terms of solar energy production in the Solar National Ranking. One of Nevada’s most notable accomplishments is the Gemini Solar Project, a solar farm that will eventually become the largest solar installation in the United States, with a total installed capacity of 690 megawatts (MW).

What You Should Know About Solar Energy in Nevada

The electrical grid in Nevada is operated by NV Energy, which is the state’s primary electric utility, as well as several rural electric utilities. NV Energy serves over 2.4 million customers across a service area of 44,000 square miles, generating electricity for them. The remainder of Nevada’s electrical grid is operated by a number of rural electric utilities, each of which serves a specific geographic area defined in advance.

Because of the state’s regulated electricity rates, the average cost of electricity in Nevada is 12 cents per kWh, which is 7 percent less than the national average. Because homeowners in Nevada consume on average 890 kWh per month, which is nearly the same as the national average, and because electricity rates in Nevada are lower than the national average, a monthly bill in Nevada costs approximately $106.83.

Even though electricity rates in Nevada are comparable to those in the rest of the United States, it is important to consider where this electricity comes from. In a state that consumes 35.2 TWh of electric power, 73 percent of the electricity is generated by natural gas plants, and 12 percent is generated by coal power plants (Figure 1). Both forms of energy generation have significant negative environmental consequences due to the release of greenhouse gas emissions.

Given the fact that Nevada has the greatest potential for solar energy generation in the entire country, it makes sense to consider solar energy as one of the state’s primary sources of renewable electricity in the mid- and long-term. This is why Nevada has chosen to build some of the largest solar farms in the country, such as the SEGS, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, Copper Mountain Solar Facility, and even the Gemini Solar Project, among others.

Is it worth going solar in Nevada?

Going solar in Nevada is a sure bet because the state has the highest sun index in the entire country, making it a wise investment. Rooftop solar panels will almost certainly generate hours of electricity and offset the majority or the entirety of your electric bill, depending on your household consumption and the size of your solar system. This is also the reason why, in addition to homeowners, major corporations such as Apple have made the decision to go solar and reap the benefits of solar energy in their operations.

Nevadans consume an average of up to 10,680 kWh per year, according to the state. With a standard solar system of 5 kW direct current installed on your roof, your home can produce up to 8,178 kWh per year, which can offset approximately 70% of your annual electricity bill. Installing a 6.5 kW DC rooftop solar generation system, or perhaps even a larger system, to completely offset your electrical bill may be necessary depending on your energy consumption.

A 6.5 kW DC rooftop solar PV system for a homeowner in Nevada can end up costing around $16,965 before solar incentives are taken into consideration. After applying for the Federal Personal Tax Credit, this price can be reduced to $12,554 as a result of the savings. In light of this price and the current electricity rates in Nevada, the payback period for a solar system of this size is estimated to be between 8 and 10 years.

Because of the electricity rates in Nevada, homeowners can expect to pay up to $1,281 in electric power costs per year. Due to the fact that solar systems have a lifespan of approximately 25 years, you can save up to $32,025 in electrical bills during this time period, which is approximately 2.5 times the cost of your photovoltaic (PV) system. This means that if you choose to go solar in Nevada, you will receive a complete payback on your PV system and will save an additional $19,000 over the course of the system’s lifespan.

For those who believe that helping the environment isn’t enough of a reason to go solar, consider the annual savings that you will realize by installing a rooftop solar generation system in the best state for solar energy production.

Take advantage of the solar tax credits and other incentives now while they are still available. The Federal Personal Tax Credit is the most advantageous incentive in Nevada, as it allows you to deduct 26 percent of the total cost of your rooftop solar generation system from your federal income taxes. This incentive will be reduced to 22 percent by 2023 and completely eliminated by 2024, which is why the years 2021 or 2022 are the best years to invest in solar energy.

How much energy will your solar system generate?

Nevada is the best state in which to install a solar-powered rooftop generation system. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar radiation levels in this state range from 3.32 to 7.85 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day, depending on the geographic location and month of the year. With these radiation levels and a sun index of 1.19, Nevada is ranked first in the Solar Power Potential Ranking for its solar energy potential.

When applied to your rooftop PV system, these solar radiation levels in Nevada can be easily translated into an average of 4.22 – 4.55 hours of solar power generation at full radiation and maximum efficiency. With the radiation levels in Nevada, your 6.5 kW DC solar system can generate as much as 10,700 kWh of alternating current per year, which can offset anywhere from 90 percent to 100 percent of your monthly energy bills.

If you are concerned about radiation levels in months with bad weather, where radiation levels are slightly lower than in other months, you need not be concerned at all. Nevada has a Net Metering (NEM) program that allows you to receive credits for any excess power generated by your solar-electric system, allowing you to offset or completely eliminate your electric bills during months when the generation to consumption ratio is lower.

The state of Nevada has the highest sun index in the country, allowing solar power generation to generate enormous annual savings. Using a rooftop solar system of this size and average electric bills of $106.83 per month, you can easily save up to $1,281.96 in electric power costs per year.

Payment options for your PV system in Nevada

There are a variety of payment options available to Nevada homeowners who are thinking about going solar and installing solar panels. Some of these options allow you to take advantage of all available solar incentives, which can significantly lower the overall cost of your rooftop solar generation system. We will go over each of the payment options available for PV systems in Nevada in detail to assist you in making the best decision for your situation.

  • Solar purchase/cash: The simplest and most straightforward method of purchasing your PV system is through a cash purchase of solar energy. In exchange for making a cash payment, you will have complete ownership of your rooftop solar generation system and will be fully eligible for all federal and local solar incentives available in Nevada.
  • Solar loan: It is the best option for homeowners who are looking to finance their solar PV systems because it allows them to become full owners of their systems while also qualifying them for solar rebates and incentives. You can obtain a loan through your chosen solar company or a financial institution; however, we recommend that you shop around for the best interest rates so that you can pay for your solar system in manageable monthly payments over time.
  • Solar leasing: Solar leasing is the best option for those who want to benefit from solar energy without having to make any upfront payments for their PV system. If you choose this option, you will not own the PV system but will instead pay a fixed rate to the solar company for the use of the solar panels. If you choose this option, you will not be eligible for the majority of federal and local solar incentives.
  • Solar Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PPA): In a similar vein to solar leasing, the Solar PPA is a payment option for solar energy. The most significant difference is that with a Solar PPA, you only pay the solar company for the energy you consume at a lower rate than you would pay your current electric utility company. Due to the fact that you do not own the PV system, you are not eligible for solar incentives if you choose this payment option.

What are the solar incentives in Nevada?

One of the most advantageous aspects of going solar is the numerous benefits that the United States and Nevada provide to homeowners through solar incentive programs. This lowers the overall cost of rooftop solar generation systems while also providing you with additional benefits. For you to be fully informed and understand these incentives, we will go over each and every one of the federal and local solar incentives currently available in Nevada for residential solar PV system owners.

Federal Solar Tax Credit (Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit)

A solar tax credit for residential renewable energy, formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is one of the most financially advantageous solar incentives available. This tax credit provides you with a 26 percent dollar-for-dollar reduction in your federal tax liability based on the cost of your rooftop solar system (installation included). If the incentive exceeds your tax liability, you can simply carry the excess over to the following year’s tax liability. Specifically for the residential sector, this incentive will be reduced to 22 percent by 2022 and completely eliminated by 2024.

We are going to apply this incentive to the 6.5 kW DC rooftop solar generation system so that you can better understand what we are talking about. According to the average price of this system, which is $16,965, you will receive a $3,264 reduction in your federal tax liability as a result of installing a solar system, and the actual cost will only be $12,554.

Solar Access Rights

The Solar and Wind Easements and Rights Laws of Nevada were enacted to ensure that every homeowner and citizen in the state has the ability to install solar panels on their properties. With the passage of this legislation, there is no contract or legal document that can prevent homeowners from installing solar-powered energy systems in their residences.

Solar Generations Rebate Program

In order to participate in the NV Energy – Clean Energy Incentive Program, you must be an existing customer of NV Energy. This is a local solar incentive program that provides you with a rebate on the money you spent on your solar system, based on the amount of alternating current power your system produces.

For residential systems that generate less than 25 kW, you will receive a $0.20 incentive for every watt produced. System generators generating more than 25 kW and up to 500 kW are eligible for a 0.025 percent incentive for each kWh produced.

NV Net Metering program

The Nevada Energy Net Metering program or the Valley Electric Association Net Metering program, depending on your electric utility, may be available to you. These programs are slightly different from one another and are only available to customers of the respective utilities.

NV Energy Net Metering program

Nevada Energy’s Net Metering program is the most advanced in the country. You can sell the excess energy generated by your rooftop solar generation system at a 75 percent discount from the retail rate for systems installed at or below 25 kW direct current (DC). For larger systems, you will receive credits equal to 100 percent of the rates charged. Extra credits remaining at the end of your metering year will be carried forward indefinitely to be used on subsequent invoices.

Valley Electric Association Net Metering program

Customers of the Valley Electric Association can participate in the Net Metering program, which allows them to sell any excess solar power they generate to the grid at a rate of 75% of the retail rate in exchange for credits that will be applied to their monthly electric bills in the future. The most significant difference between this program and the Nevada Energy Metering program is that all excess credits will be forfeited at the end of the metering year on September 30 of each year.

Best Solar Companies in Nevada: Our top choices

Choosing the right company to install solar panels in Nevada is critical. In return, they will supply you with solar products and install them, as well as provide you with a warranty liability for their work. The following criteria were used to compile a list of our top picks for solar energy companies in the state to assist you in your selection of a solar energy company.

  • Reputation and client satisfaction with the result – We looked at certified reviews to make sure that each company has a good reputation and that their clients were satisfied with the results they received.
  • Performed solar projects – In order to ensure that a company has the best experience possible, we looked into the number and type of solar projects they completed, with an emphasis on the outcome.
  • Product brands and quality – When selecting a solar company, it is also important to consider the types of solar products they use, the brands they represent, and the overall quality of each product.
  • Partnerships and certifications – We looked into each company’s partnership and certifications to ensure that they provided quality and experience to our customers.
  • Type and time of warranty – Finally, the warranty provided by each company, as well as its policies, are important considerations because each company is responsible for the work that they perform.

Elevation

Elevation is one of the most reputable companies in Nevada when it comes to solar energy installations. It was founded in 2014 and has experienced rapid growth since then, acquiring a diverse range of solar projects that have achieved outstanding results while maintaining a constant focus on customer satisfaction. Elevation was named Energy Star Contractor of the Year in 2021, and the company will receive the award in 2022.

Services offered by the company include: auditing and energy efficiency optimization; PV panel installations; general construction; and solar contracting, as well as solar panels repair and maintenance. This company collaborates with leading manufacturers such as Enphase Energy, IronRidge, Panasonic, LG Solar, SolarEdge Technologies, REC, Q CELLS, CURB, and Tesla to deliver high-quality products to customers.

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Sol-Up Inc

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Sol-Up Inc. is one of the most reputable solar energy installation companies in the state of Nevada. The organization was established in 2009. Since its inception, Sol-Up Inc. has sought to utilize the most recent and most advanced solar technology in order to provide clients with the most up-to-date experience in solar energy generation as well as excellent customer service.

Sol-Up Inc. specializes in the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems in conjunction with customized energy storage systems. In Nevada, you may benefit from a variety of solar products from high-quality brands such as Enphase Energy, Panasonic, SolarEdge Technologies, Quick Mount PV, Tesla, and Sunpreme when you choose Sol-Up Inc. as your solar installer.


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Intermountain Wind and Solar

Intermountain Wind & Solar

Solar company Intermountain Wind and Solar, founded in 2008, is dedicated to providing high-quality solar installations throughout the state of Nevada. The company has completed a wide range of residential and commercial solar installations, all of which have produced satisfactory results for the customers.

In addition to providing excellent solar installations in bulk packages, the company also offers an excellent power generation monitoring service. One of this company’s manufacturer partnerships and certifications is the REC solar professional certification. It also has the LG Pro platinum installer certification as well as the Enphase Platinum installer certification. This company sells solar products from well-known manufacturers such as LG, Enphase, SMA, SunPower, and Tesla.


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Nevada SOLAR GROUP

A solar installer established in 2012, Nevada Solar Group provides high-quality photovoltaic (PV) installations in a number of states, including Nevada. With several years of experience installing solar panels on all types of roofs with satisfactory results, this company is able to offer excellent warranties to its clients and their solar installation projects.

This company specializes in solar PV system installations, roofing, electrical contracting, and repair and maintenance services for solar panels and other renewable energy systems. As a result of your decision to use this company, you may be able to select high-quality solar products from well-known manufacturers such as SunPower Corporation, Enphase Energy, SolarWorld, Unirac Inc.. Canadian Solar Inc., IronRidge, Panasonic, LG Solar and SolarEdge Technologies. Hyundai, Hanwha SolarOne, and Quick Mount PV are also possible choices.

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Kota Energy Group

Kota Energy Group is a solar installation company that was founded in 2017 and operates in several states, including Nevada. This company places a strong emphasis on using the most up-to-date technology and providing aesthetically pleasing installations, with the goal of meeting the needs of clients who want to install rooftop solar generation systems in their homes.

PV installations, roofing, community solar system installations, and a repair and maintenance service for solar panels are just a few of the services that the company provides. In addition to Solaria solar panels for the generation system, Kota Energy Group installs LG Pro backup batteries for the energy storage system, resulting in high-quality installations.


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Del Sol Energy

Nevada-based Del Sol Energy is a solar installation company that was founded in 2013 and provides services in both the northern and southern regions of the state. For each installation, the company strives to strike a balance between practical and intelligent locations for the installations and an optimal level of radiation to increase the production of PV systems.

This company is a one-stop shop because they provide a wide range of services, including PV system installations, energy auditing, roofing, electrical contracting, and the installation of community solar systems, among others. With Del Sol Energy, you can purchase products from companies such as SunPower Corporation, Enphase Energy, Canadian Solar Inc., Panasonic, LG Solar, SolarEdge technologies, Silfab solar, Q CELLS, Solaria, and many others.


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Author Bio

Carlos Huerta

Electrical Engineer with experience in solar photovoltaic (PV) design for residential and commercial projects, as well as the development of power systems. I’m a big fan of topics and projects related to renewable energy. Technical writer for papers, articles, and research projects on topics relating to sustainability, particularly solar power, and for solar energy companies.