What are the latest solar trends in Q4 2019? Read EnterSolar’s policy highlights to learn more about new incentives and project economics in your state.
National Policy Update: The ITC Stepdown
As 2019 is drawing to an end, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is ratcheting down from 30% to 26%. The ITC is a major economic motivator for companies deciding to go solar by allowing solar system owners to offset tax payments owed to the IRS in an amount equal to 30% of the eligible cost basis of the system. For projects that “commence construction” in 2020, the incentive will step down to 26%, 22% in 2021, and 10% in 2022 and onward.
There is still time to capture the full 30% of the ITC now. Learn more details here, and don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this incentive while it lasts!
Moving State Markets
Maine has historically been a laggard in solar development as compared to other states, but Governor Janet Mills recently signed several clean energy bills that will spur the rapid deployment of solar across the state. The bills set a goal of generating 100% of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2050 and include a specific carve-out for solar, helping pave the way for at least 375MW of new solar projects in the state.
Additionally, the bills lift the size cap for projects and enable Maine businesses to take advantage of the economies of scale for larger systems. As the cost of solar continues to decrease, the business case for solar in Maine strengthens through rapid capital recoupment and lucrative returns.
The largest Feed-in Tariff (FIT) in the U.S. just got much larger. LADWP has approved the expansion of its Feed-in Tariff program by 300MW, tripling the program’s size. Under this FIT program, LADWP will purchase the customer-sited solar energy based on a 20-year fixed-price contract.
LADWP’s FIT program has been providing businesses and real estate owners in Los Angeles generous income opportunities to lease their underutilized rooftops to third-party solar system owners. Additionally, businesses that prefer owning on-site solar projects and garnering the ITC will be pleased to see the expansion of a lucrative solar market in Los Angeles.
The state recently announced the results of its community solar pilot program, where 650MW are vying for 75MW of capacity. Impressively, more than 90% of projects plan to allocate over 50% of the energy to low-moderate income households. Meanwhile, solar developers and businesses alike, anxiously await the details of the forthcoming “transition” program, which is expected to provide attractive economics for going solar across the Garden State. Stay tuned for exciting solar developments in one of the most solar-friendly states for businesses.
In addition to the above states, with solar equipment costs continuing to decline (despite recent tariffs on solar modules!), solar deployment is making economic sense across the U.S. States. California continues to lead the way with high solar irradiance and favorable utility tariffs, Massachusetts is expanding its incentive program another 800MW, and Maryland and Pennsylvania are back in play with strong SREC incentives.
Solar continues to flourish throughout the U.S., as evident by more and more retailers embracing on-site solar energy systems. Target, which is currently top-ranked in terms of on-site solar capacity, has set an aggressive goal to complete rooftop solar systems at more than one-quarter of their stores by November, and EnterSolar is proud to have partnered with them on several projects throughout the country. Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania are currently excellent states for solar, and EnterSolar has experience working in both old and new solar markets. With the right project structuring, solar installations make economic sense in almost every state, even those without strong incentives. If you are interested in a technical and financial assessment for you your facility or portfolio, contact EnterSolar today to see how solar can work for you.