Water flows through the Coachella branch of the All-American Canal on June 13, 2018, alongside homes in north Indio served by the Imperial Irrigation District, including one home with rooftop solar panels.

A judge has temporarily blocked a Riverside County rule that would require the Imperial Irrigation District to offer higher payments to Coachella Valley homes and businesses with rooftop solar panels.

Tuesday’s decision was a victory for IID in a lawsuit that has pitted the public utility against the Coachella Valley’s largest rooftop solar company, Renova Energy. Renova’s founder and president, Vincent Battaglia, convinced the Riverside County supervisors earlier this year to pass an ordinance requiring IID to bring back net metering, a compensation program that encourages rooftop solar installation by paying homes and businesses for some of the electricity they generate. The public utility sued to block the county rule, arguing it would illegally subvert the authority of IID’s elected board.

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