SunRay Cuts Jobs as New Hampshire Reaches Cap on Solar Incentiveby
Solar company firing one-third of its workforce in the state
Net-metering dispute follows similar job cuts in Nevada
SunRay Solar Inc., a New Hampshire-based installer of rooftop panels, fired one-third of its workers after the state’s largest utility reached the limit of a program that supports solar power.
SunRay said the move comes after Eversource Energy said Jan. 20 new applicants for the program, called net metering, would be placed on a wait list and will make less for selling power from their solar systems.
Net metering programs let consumers sell excess energy from solar panels to local utilities, and is one of the key policies driving the growing use of rooftop power systems. Revising the state’s net metering program may slow demand for new installations.
“Unless legislators lift the cap this session, more layoffs will follow,” Sunray said in a statement Friday. The company did not say how many workers it employs in New Hampshire.
The dispute mirrors events in Nevada, where changes to the state’s net metering policy took effect at the start of this year, authorizing local utilities to increase fees for customers with solar systems. That prompted industry leader SolarCity Corp. of San Mateo, California, and Sunrun Inc. of San Francisco to fire hundreds of workers and cease operations in the state.
“We are supporting a legislative effort to expand that cap,” Lauren Collins, an Eversource spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Friday. “In the meantime customers can still connect their PV projects and get paid for the surplus they sell to us, albeit at a lower rate.”
SunRay didn’t immediately return calls Friday.