SolarCity decided to eliminate 550 jobs in Nevada after Governor Brian Sandoval approved the new net metering rate proposed by the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
According to the company, it will try to relocate the affected employees to business-friendly states.
SolarCity says PUC decision was “callous”
SolarCity criticized the decision of the PUC to change the rules as “callous” citing the reason that it punishes existing solar customers after the state encouraged them to go solar with rebates.
The company added that Nevadans is questioning whether the state would put the financial security of the regular citizens above the interest of NV Energy.
In a statement, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said, “I contacted Governor Sandoval multiple times after the ruling because I am convinced that he and the PUC didn’t fully understand the consequences of this decision, not only on the thousands of local jobs distributed solar has created, but on the 17,000 Nevadans that installed solar with the state’s encouragement.”
According to Rives, he is still waiting to for the opportunity to speak with Gov. Sandoval regarding the issue. He is confident that the Governor and the PUC Commissioners would do the right thing once they understand the real impact of the new net metering rate.
SolarCity stopped solar sales and installation in Nevada
On December 23, SolarCity announced its decision to stop its solar sales and installation in Nevada effective immediately after the PUC decision.
The company also closed its training center in West Last Vegas, which was opened less than a month ago.
During the opening of the training center, Gov. Sandoval said, “I’m proud to celebrate the opening of SolarCity’s new training center, which will make Nevada the regional hub for training workers in the jobs of the 21st century. Our homegrown solar industry has already created over 6,000 good Nevada jobs, and has tremendous potential to continue driving innovation, economic diversification, and opportunity in the Silver State.”
It appears that the statement of the Governor that Nevada has the potential to continue to drive innovation is far from reality because of the job cuts. Solar City noted that other solar companies in the state with higher cost structures were expected to eliminate thousands of jobs over the coming months.
“Telling employees they can no longer work for SolarCity is the hardest thing we’ve ever done. These are hard-working Nevadans, and a single government action has put them out of work. This is not how the government is supposed to work,” said Rive.
The Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a motion to stop the implementation of the pUC ruling. The Bureau argued that the impact of the ruling is “not consistent with the Governor’s stated objectives of SB 374 or the Governor’s initiatives and focus to increase jobs and employment for Nevada residents.”