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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - December 2011

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced the winners of its Solar Champion Awards. The recipients were selected based on the impact they made in advancing the solar industry goal of achieving 10 gigawatts of new annual installed capacity by 2015. This year's awardees, which include individuals and entities in eight categories, are Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in the federal legislator category; Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, in the governor category; Johnson & Johnson, in the solar adopter category; Fred Morse, senior advisor at Morse Associates, in the advocate category; SunRun, in the innovator category; Schneider Electric, in the manufacturer category; Sempra Generation, in the project developer category; and Hunton & Williams, in the service provider category.

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Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation to promote local production of wind energy by expanding the existing small wind investment tax credit (ITC) to slightly larger projects. The Community Wind Act, S. 1741, expands the turbine-based ITC, which in its existing form is available for turbines with nameplate capacity of up to 100 kilowatts, to wind projects with a total capacity of 20 megawatts or less. Furthermore, the bill does not place restrictions on any individual turbine's size. Projects that qualify for the ITC under S. 1741 would no longer qualify for the production tax credit (PTC). The text of the bill is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) submitted a statement for the House Ways and Means Committee's Joint Hearing on Energy Tax Policy and Reform in September. The Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures and the Subcommittee on Oversight held this joint hearing to examine whether energy policy should be conducted through the tax code and, if so, how to design provisions that advance sustainable policy and tax reform principles. In its statement, GEA urged the subcommittees to extend geothermal tax credits, saying that the December 31, 2013 PTC deadline presents a serious obstacle to geothermal energy growth. To ensure a broad investment base for geothermal energy projects, GEA's statement recommended the extension of both the PTC and ITC deadlines, and urged legislators to support provisions that expand access to use of master limited partnerships.

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U.S. Reps. Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr. and Republican Frank LoBiondo, both of New Jersey, introduced legislation in October to encourage offshore wind development. H.R. 3238, the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, would create a 30 percent ITC for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed in service. Under the legislation, companies would have five years to install a wind project after receiving a credit award from the U.S. Treasury Department. The proposed credit could not be combined with other renewable energy ITCs or PTCs. A companion bill, S. 1397, has been introduced in the Senate. Copies of both bills are available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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Sungevity and Rabobank established a residential solar fund that will support more than $50 million of new residential solar lease projects in the United States. This fund marks Rabobank's entrance into residential solar financing, and the news comes after Sungevity's East Coast expansion and the announcement of a major partnership with Lowe's. Sungevity has raised funds to support more than $175 million in residential solar projects and has a presence in eight states.

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Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced a bill to require independent audits of all renewable energy loan guarantees and other types of financial support for renewable energy. H.R. 3331, the Federal Accounting of Renewable Energy (FARE) Act, would require an assessment of all past and future renewable energy loan guarantees, loans, grants and direct payments. Specifically, the legislation calls for the head of each federal agency to submit to Congress an account of all financial support that the agency contributed to promote renewable energy use or production. Similar legislation was also introduced in the Senate. The text of H.R. 3331 is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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