Rebecca Cantwell is the Executive Director of COSEIA, one of the best State level trade associations. Rebecca has been the director for 5 years and brought COSEIA through a multitude of regulatory issues. With a small budget of about $250,000, COSEIA brings results in a true David versus Goliath fight.
COSEIA is an independent entity. It may be listed as an affiliated partner, COSEIA does not report to or receive funding from SEIA. This is a separation that has been made clear to SolarWakeup by many State SEIA groups.
Most recently, COSEIA was in the room where it happens. Negotiating with Xcel Energy in Colorado has been a nearly yearlong effort. Through many full days of sitting in Xcel conference rooms, COSEIA was an intervenor in all three solar related dockets. The group came to a settlement which had some positive effects which Rebecca covers in great specificity in our conversation.
What struck me is that even though COSEIA was an intervenor, SEIA also deployed resources by intervening in two of the dockets. That means COSEIA and SEIA were duplicating efforts, representing their own memberships. I would see it more effective to send capital to the State and align the interests of both SEIA entities.
In the coming weeks, we will be speaking with more State level directors on how the State level chapters are driving their markets forward.
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Vote Solar is appealing the district courts ruling that reinstated net metering for existing customers, grandfathering the policy for those customers. The original lawsuit called for net metering to be put back in place for all customers after the PUCN eliminated it. The appeal calls for net metering to be offered by the electric utilities to all customers as required by Nevada law.
The solar advocacy group is represented by local counsel and Earthjustice. Attorney from Earthjustice, Sara Gersen, said, “Nevada law requires utilities to offer net metering. By ensuring the Commission follows the law, the Nevada Supreme Court can put clean energy back within reach for many Nevadans.”
A ruling which brings back net metering would be a big improvement for solar workers in Nevada. Last week, National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously covered the affair interviewing Sunrun which left the State along with SolarCity and Vivint Solar, costing Nevada thousands of jobs. A stunning image of boxes stacked on boxes labeled ‘cancelled jobs’ gave a visual representation of the impacts caused by the 3 utility regulators.
Vote Solar is seeking to bring the State back on track by asked for relief. At the same time, Vote Solar’s Jessica Scott is on an advisory committee for distributed generation for the Governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force in the attempt to move other avenues forward for solar supporters in Nevada. About the chances in the legal challenge, Scott said, “We have a strong legal case for reversing the decision for future solar customers and look forward to having a full discussion of the facts at the Supreme Court.”