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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - April 2014

On Feb. 6, Sens. Michel F. Bennet, D-Colo., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., introduced the Renewable Energy Parity Act of 2014 (S. 2003), the bill would extend the renewable energy credit to include solar energy property under construction. Currently, a property must have a placed-in-service date of Dec. 31, 2016 in order to qualify for the tax credit. S. 2003 would take effect on the enactment date. The bill is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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On Feb. 11, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that NY Green Bank has commenced operations. NY Green Bank’s purpose is to increase private sector financing for renewable energy projects and work towards an improved clean energy system. The New York Green Bank submitted a request for proposals (RFP) from private sector lenders, investors and energy industry participants. Eligible participants include energy service companies, developers, equipment manufacturers and financial institutions. Investment partnerships can include credit enhancements, co-investing with the private sector in a loan fund for clean energy, loan warehousing or short-term project aggregation. The New York Green Bank has an initial capitalization of $210 million.

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released “The Effectiveness of State-Level Policies on Solar Market Development in Different State Contexts” in February. The report analyzes data to determine the effect of solar policies on photovoltaic (PV) installations. The report focuses on four categories: expected leaders, rooftop rich, motivated buyers and mixed. Case studies and quantitative analysis in these categories helped determine the effectiveness of solar policy through the influence of median household income, solar resource availability, electricity price and community interest in renewable energy. NREL anticipates releasing follow-up research that would identify the most effective policy development strategies for each state and provide strategies for states to take action. The report is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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U.S. Geothermal Inc. announced on Feb. 24 that it finalized a strategic and financial partnership with Enbridge Inc. for Oregon’s Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Plant. The final ownership interest in Neal Hot Springs resulted in 60 percent for U.S. Geothermal Inc. and 40 percent for Enbridge. The renewable energy company, which focuses on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, worked with Enbridge, an energy delivering company, to fund the construction of Neal Hot Springs. U.S. Geothermal Inc. invested $14 million in the development and construction of the project, while Enbridge’ equity investment helped to fund remaining construction costs. The receipt and distribution of all remaining funds was finalized on Jan. 27. U.S. Geothermal Inc. received a $6.2 million cash distribution from the partnership.

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The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released a statement Feb. 11 that the state-by-state jobs numbers in The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013 represent a huge return on America’s investment in solar energy and that the solar investment tax credit (ITC) and net energy metering (NEM) are driving solar deployment in all 50 states. SEIA applauded the hard work of The Solar Foundation in compiling its annual jobs report, and that the company looks forward to working with governors, legislators and regulators nationwide on public policies designed to create new jobs and protect the environment. The report was released in January and is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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On Feb. 19, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the approval of two utility-scale solar energy projects. Located near the California-Nevada border, Stateline Solar Farm and Silver State South Solar project are the 49th and 50th renewable energy projects approved on public land. They are expected to provide a combined 550 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy and maintain more than 700 jobs with construction and operations. Stateline Solar Farm is a 300MW project that will be built on more than 1,600 acres of public land in San Bernardino County, Calif. The Silver State South Solar project is a 250MW project on more than 2,000 acres of public land near Primm, Nev. In addition, First Solar, the proposer of the projects, agreed to make project changes to minimize effects to wildlife, water, historical, cultural and other resources. This included modifying the Silver State South project to reduce the size of the facility by 100MW. First Solar must also fund more than $3.6 million for wildlife mitigation and $3.5 million for studies to aid future efforts to protect wildlife in the project area. First Solar will also determine the project’s possible effect on any National Register of Historic Places-eligible properties found at the site.

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On Feb. 20, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, and the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) announced the addition of 20 qualified renewable energy contractors to the Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) list. The list contains the names of companies eligible to compete for task orders for renewable energy projects at U.S. Department of Defense installations. Added to the list were 15 solar companies, three wind companies and two biomass companies. This is the second round of MATOC renewable energy awards, bringing the total to 79 solar, wind, biomass and geothermal awards. The MATOC allows the Army and other services to acquire renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements (PPA). Under the PPAs, the Army selects contractors to finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the projects, but does not acquire generation assets.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

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