Pacific Power customers may be eligible for incentives through the Energy Trust of Oregon’s (ETO) Solar Electric Buy-Down program, which is currently paying $1 per watt for systems up to 150 kW, with a $15,000 maximum incentive. The buy-down incentive will be paid to the solar contractor and deducted from the final cost.
Businesses in the City of Ashland are eligible for cash incentives based on system size. Currently, the City is paying $1 per watt, with the incentive capped at $7,500. City of Ashland incentives are paid directly to the customer.
In June 2009, Oregon established a pilot solar volumetric incentive rate and payment program with legislation. Under this incentive program, systems are paid for the kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated over a 15-year period, at a rate set at the time a system is initially enrolled in the program. Small- and medium-scale systems participate in a program that is modeled after net metering and medium and larger-scale systems participate in a competitive bidding program. The net-metering based program has a lottery-based method of reserving capacity for small and medium-scale systems.
Tax Credits & Grants
Tax credits reduce the amount of tax owed, dollar for dollar. They are also as good as cash for a tax refund.
The Federal Energy Investment Tax Credit (FITC) is a 30% tax credit calculated on the system’s costs. FITC tax credits can be taken in year one, or carried forward a maximum of 20 years. Receiving the FITC is as simple as the client, or client’s accountant, filling out the appropriate IRS form.
Oregon Department of Energy competitive, performance-based grants may be available. Applications are being reviewed biannually, in April and November. Contact True South Solar for specific details.
The USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems.
REAP grants are written and submitted by paid Resource Consultants. All “rural” businesses are eligible and do not have to be affiliated with the USDA. In general, businesses in southern Oregon outside of the Medford/Phoenix city limits are eligible. The maximum Renewable Energy System Grant request is 25% of eligible project costs or $500,000, whichever is less.
AMT—The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), enacted in October 2008, allows taxpayers to take the federal credit against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
All incentives and tax credits are subject to change. Please consult with your tax advisor to assess your business’s eligibility for various programs and tax incentives.
Please contact True South Solar for detailed information about what programs might best suit your project.