Las Vegas Sun

November 16, 2018

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SolarCity cutting ties with rooftop solar advocacy group

The Alliance for Solar Choice, an advocacy group representing rooftop solar companies, is losing one of its anchor members: SolarCity.

SolarCity will leave the alliance in December, after a pivotal battle with NV Energy over a policy called net metering, which pays rooftop solar customers for providing energy to the grid.

SolarCity leases solar panels to homeowners and small businesses.

Since 2013, the alliance has advocated and lobbied for rooftop solar in Nevada and is working with regulators to devise a long-term price structure for net metering in the state.

Sunrun, the nation’s second largest rooftop solar company and a fellow member of the alliance, has been SolarCity’s top ally in the net metering fight. But SolarCity’s split from the alliance highlights an apparent rift with its competitor.

The two have differed on tactics for addressing the state’s solar policies and disagreed on how to work with lawmakers and regulators.

“It makes sense to engage the discussion in our own name,” Will Craven, SolarCity spokesman, said. “Nevadans expect to hear directly from us, and we want them to know that SolarCity is aligned with them on these issues.”

Sunrun declined to comment.

SolarCity says it will remain with the alliance through the net metering case, but it will sever ties after regulators make the net metering decision next month.

The company’s departure will mean the absence of resources and manpower for the alliance going forward.

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