American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, includes a number of key provisions benefiting the Solar Energy Industry.
Renewable Energy Grants
Creates a new program through the Department of Treasury that provides grants equal to 30 percent of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010, in lieu of the section 48 investment tax credit. (Div. B, Sec. 1104, p. 38) Property that is not placed in service prior to December 31st, 2010 qualifies for the grant program as long as construction begins prior to December 31st, 2010 and is placed in service by January 1, 2017. Applications must be filed by October 1, 2011. (Div. B, Sec. 1603, p. 153) Key details such as what constitutes an application and “begins construction” will be defined in the near future by the Treasury Department.
Repeals Penalty for Subsidized Renewable Energy Financing
Allows businesses and individuals to qualify for the full amount of the solar tax credit, even if projects receive subsidized energy financing (e.g. below market loans, tax preferred bonds, state grants etc.). This amendment shall apply to periods after Dec. 31, 2008. (Div. B, Sec. 1103, p.36)
Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program
Establishes a temporary DOE loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects, renewable energy manufacturing facilities and electric power transmission projects. Appropriates $6 billion to pay the credit subsidy costs, which should support $60 billion worth of loan guarantees. Eligible renewable projects are those that generate electricity or thermal energy and facilities that manufacture related components. Projects must commence construction by September 30, 2011. Davis‐Bacon wage requirements (prevailing federal wage) apply to any project receiving a loan guarantee. (Div. A, p. 63 & p. 77)