Tacked on to the so-called “bail out” bill passed earlier this month are a suite of extensions of tax credits for renewable energy projects. And members of Kentucky’s renewable energy industry are praising federal lawmakers for attaching them to the measure. The credits are for utilities that install large-scale renewable electricity generation projects and for individual projects like home solar panel systems. Kentucky Solar Partnership’s Andrew Macdonald says lawmakers also lifted a $2000 dollar cap on credits for installing solar arrays known as PV systems.
“A one kilowatt PV system may cost $8,000-$10,000 dollars, and I think the typical residential system is around 2 to 3 kilowatts. So you might be looking at $10,000-$15,000 for the typical PV system. And if you can only get a $2000 tax credit, that’s not nearly as helpful as if you can get the full 30%,” says Macdonald.
Macdonald says the 30% credit for the entire cost could increase interest among individuals and small businesses in renewable systems. But it could also increase the renewable industry’s comfort level when it comes to making investments in manufacturing and training.