Stimulus bill boosts solar installations
From a post by Annie Carmichael on Vote Solar:
The recovery package will immediately spur job creation along each link in the solar supply chain- from PV panel manufacturers to solar hot water system installers. Serious kudos to our hard-working friends at SEIA who traversed the halls of Congress until the 11th hour, and to all of our members who chimed in online to make their voices heard.
Solar provisions in the final economic recovery bill:
Renewable Energy Grants: Given the economic downturn, many traditional solar project financiers were left without the tax appetite necessary to put the 30 percent solar tax credit to good use. This provision puts solar finance back on track by offering DOE grants as an alternative to the tax credit. To be eligible for the program, the project must commence construction in 2009 or 2010 and be placed in service by January 1, 2017. Applications must be filed by October 1, 2011.
Repeals Penalty for Municipal Solar Finance Programs: Around the country, cities are implementing innovative finance programs that help residents and businesses go solar without breaking the bank. As the tax code was written, there was some uncertainty as to whether participants in these programs could claim the federal solar tax credit. This provision ensures that businesses and individuals can qualify for the full amount of the solar tax credit, even if projects are financed with local development bonds or other subsidized energy financing.
Loan Guarantee Program: This provision is especially helpful for the development of large-scale solar power plants. It establishes a temporary DOE loan guarantee program for renewable energy and electric power transmission projects. The program is available for any renewable project that commences construction by September 30, 2011. The program provides $6 billion in renewable funding.
Manufacturing Investment Credit: Everyone wants manufacturing jobs, and this provision will help attract solar manufacturing facilities to the U.S. It provides up to $2.3 billion to fund 30 percent investment tax credit for facilities engaged in the manufacture of advanced energy technologies. Projects must be certified by the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, through competitive bidding.
Remove Limits on Solar Water Heating: This provision gives solar hot water heaters the same treatment of solar panels. It repeals the $2,000 monetary cap, making solar water heating property eligible for the full 30 percent tax credit.
More details from the Solar Energy Industries Association