Layoffs in the solar sector becoming a trend

Nevada’s solar industry seems to be closing up shop after a decision by Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission to slash energy credit buy-back rates, along with tacking on fees for solar users.

One local company, Las Vegas-based Radiant Solar Solutions of NV, laid off 90 percent of its workforce in recent days — taking away more than a dozen jobs from Nevada. The organization was created in mid-2015 and grew quickly to become one of the largest installers in the local region, the company said in a release.

“We were proud to call Nevada our home, and bring solar savings to homeowners across the state,” said Jack McClary, spokesman for Radiant Solar Solutions of NV. “All that came to an end when Gov. Sandoval’s appointed commissioners — David Noble, Alaina Burtenshaw, and Chairman Paul Thomsen — supported NV Energy over the good of Nevadans and thousands of solar jobs. This decision by the PUC halted our ability to proceed with many customers who were in the process of going solar and adversely impacted the lives and finances of great workers who were laid off.”

Other companies also had pink slips for dozens more Nevadan’s after the decision. Solar City was the first to say it would close shop and leave the state.

“We are devastated that the commission’s anti-solar decision forced us to lay off 66 hard-working employees who were bringing the first form of energy choice to Las Vegas families,” said Robert Lamore, owner of Premier Solar Solutions — a family-owned, formerly Nevada-based organization.

“Governor Sandoval and Commissioners Noble, Thomsen, and Burtenshaw changed the rules in the middle of the game, eliminating local jobs and wiping out investments for thousands of families who chose solar. After the PUC ruling, we had no option but to close our office in Henderson, lay off our staff of 66 people and to relocate the company to a state that favors small business and the right for customer choice. The Commission should reverse this decision immediately,” Lamore added.

In total, some 17,000 homeowners were affected by the PUC’s decision. However, NV Energy recently announced it would move to grandfather net metering customers to stay on the old rules for a transition period, up to 20 years.

The utility company will submit the proposed amendments on Feb. 1 to the PUCN, which would decide whether to allow prior customers to get the prior rate. The amendment also includes customers who had an application in before the rate changes took effect. The rate hikes took effect on Jan. 1.

Las Ventanas adds memory unit

Ronald Reagan Memory Support Suites, a 16-unit memory support community, has opened its doors inside the Las Ventanas at Summerlin continuing care active adult community at 10401 W. Charleston Blvd.

“We felt there was a need for memory support services in the greater Las Vegas area, and through the tireless efforts of our staff and the Las Ventanas Foundation Committee, the dream of constructing a world-class memory support facility became a reality,” said Jonathan Boyar, executive director of Las Ventanas at Summerlin.

The add-on brings a fourth level of care to Las Ventanas, officials said. Las Ventanas already offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing.

Las Ventanas has been serving residents of the Summerlin area since 2004. Its new additional services will help aid new and future residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The new unit is the only not-for-profit memory support community in Las Vegas. The Las Ventanas Foundation Committee raised more than $1.5 million for the effort.

Clinic expands to North Las Vegas

Las Vegas-based Neck and Back Clinic, a provider of pain management and rehabilitation, is expanding its reach into North Las Vegas with the opening of a facility at 3820 W. Ann Road, Suite 130.

This is one of several locations around the valley, including downtown, Green Valley, northeast Las Vegas and the northwest. The group is led by Dr. Benjamin S. Lurie and Dr. Matthew Olmstead and has a focus on neck, back, head and extremity injury.

The group can also help patients with such ailments as spinal extremity complaints, headaches, and numbness or tingling.

Restaurant starts on new building

Nora’s Italian Cuisine broke ground in January on its new building at the northeast corner of Flamingo Road and Duneville Street at 5780 West Flamingo Road, less than a mile east of its site at 6020 West Flamingo Road Ste. 10. The building is scheduled to be finished in August 2016.

Nora’s opened in 1991 and has since become an establishment attracting both locals and tourists. In its new two-story building, Nora’s will feature more seating, large private dining rooms, a wine cellar, an outdoor patio and a bocce court.


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