Renewable Energy Tax Credit News Briefs – April 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

California state Sen. Scott Wiener introduced Feb. 20 Senate Bill 1399. The legislation would expand access to offsite solar projects for non-residential customers by allowing them to partner with already-developed sites such as parking lots, warehouses, brownfields and landfills, and use those sites for solar energy that the local community can access. The bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to ensure that the credit reflects the full value of the electricity from the eligible renewable generating facilities, and that the credit is established using the same methodology as used to determine credits under the standard contract or tariff for eligible customer-generators. Sen. Wiener said in a press release that to meet aggressive renewable energy goals, California needs to dramatically expand solar, including maximizing use of our empty rooftops and other developed spaces. He added that the bill would spur the generation of more clean energy and create more good-paying solar installation jobs in communities throughout the state.

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Coastal Enterprises Inc., a renewable energy financing company, announced Feb. 7 the launch of a new subsidiary. Bright Community Capital will invest equity, debt and tax equity to develop nonresidential solar projects in low- to moderate-income communities. Bright Community Capital will deliver environmental and social benefits to the community through climate-friendly energy production, sustainable land management at project sites, quality job creation in installation and maintenance and a lower cost of energy for low-income residents. The formation of the subsidiary was made possible through a $20 million bond from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund, designated to finance community and small business solar power generation projects that impact low-income communities throughout the country. 

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Wyoming House Bill 118 was introduced Feb. 15 and proposes to expand the tax on the production of electricity from resources in Wyoming to include solar power systems. The bill would also increase the rate of the tax, provide for distribution of the tax, authorize a tax credit for renewable energy equipment, provide a sunset date for the credit, providing rulemaking authority and provide for an effective date. House Bill 118 proposes levying a $2 per megawatt hour tax on renewable energy produced in Wyoming, amending prior language that applied a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind power. Also included is a grace period of one year before a new renewable facility has to pay the generation tax.

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The Internal Revenue Service issued Private Letter Ruling 201809003 March 5 concerning energy storage installation. The PLR was in response to a request to determine whether the cost of installing energy storage to be integrated into a residential PV system would qualify as a “qualified solar electric property expenditure” eligible for the investment tax credit (ITC), or Section 25D. Specifically, the PLR said the battery added to a solar PV system a full year after solar installation was completed is eligible for the full 30 percent ITC, as long as it is 100 percent powered by solar. The PLR is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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