SolarCity says it has been forced to eliminate more than 550 jobs in Nevada as a direct result of the decision by Gov. Brian Sandoval's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to change the rules on rooftop solar in the state. The company says that it will relocate affected employees to other states that are more ‘business-friendly’ wherever possible.
As previously reported, the PUC decision has widely been viewed as a punishment to existing solar customers after the state encouraged them to go solar with rebates. As a result, SolarCity announced on Dec. 23 that it had to cease solar sales and installation in the state effective immediately.
‘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,’ says Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's CEO. ‘I'm still waiting to speak to the governor, but I am convinced that once he and the commissioners understand the real impact, they will do the right thing.’
Other solar companies in Nevada with higher cost structures are expected to lay off thousands of Nevadans in the coming months, according to SolarCity's recent release.