Potere Solar technicians Benny Lopez, right, and Anthony Cataudella install panels at a Rancho Mirage home on Jan. 26, 2016.

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The Imperial Irrigation District has sued Riverside County to block a new regulation that requires IID to bring back a popular solar program, starting a legal battle that will pit the public power agency against the Coachella Valley’s biggest rooftop solar company.

The county ordinance, approved Tuesday by the board of supervisors in a unanimous vote, orders IID to provide higher compensation rates to its customers with rooftop solar panels for the electricity they generate and sell into the grid. The ordinance applies to homes and businesses in unincorporated parts of Riverside County, including the Coachella Valley communities of Bermuda Dunes, Mecca, Thermal and Thousand Palms. The La Quinta city council planned to discuss a similar policy Tuesday night.

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