Senate Reaches Bipartisan Agreement to Extend, Improve Solar Tax Credits

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Senate-passed bill would extend federal solar tax credits for 8 years, eliminate $2,000 cap on residential projects, and remove exemptions for utilities and AMT filers
Solar Energy Industries Association president Rhone Resch released the following statement after the Senate voted on bipartisan legislation to extend federal solar tax credits by 8 years. The amendment to H.R. 6049, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, to extend renewable energy tax credits passed by a vote of 93 to 2. SEIA expects the Senate will complete votes on other amendments and pass H.R. 6049 later today.

"The Senate took an important step today to put America back to work with clean, reliable and job-creating solar power. With major instability in our financial markets, solar energy is a guaranteed way to provide the stability we need in our economy right now.

"I applaud the Senate for reaching a bipartisan consensus to extend the solar tax credits, which are critical to the growth of the solar market in the U.S. I especially want to thank Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell, Senate Finance Chairman Baucus and ranking member Grassley, and Senators Cantwell and Ensign for their leadership in brokering this agreement.

"Extension of the solar investment tax credit has been more than two years in the making and is a major victory for the solar industry and for consumers facing higher energy prices in the U.S. Under the Senate bill, the solar tax credits will be extended for 8 years, for both commercial and residential consumers. The bill also makes several major improvements that puts solar energy within reach for all Americans. This includes a complete elimination of the $2,000 cap for residential systems and an allowance for utilities to make use of the commercial credit. Also, the bill allows those taxpayers that trigger AMT (alternative minimum tax) to take the solar tax credit.

"With a long term ITC in place, the solar industry will grow exponentially in the coming years. A study released by Navigant Consulting, Inc. just this week showed that more than 1.2 million employment opportunties, including 440,000 permanent jobs, and $232 billion in investment would be supported by 2016 with an 8-year extension of the ITC. And perhaps most important, the solar industry will create jobs in all 50 states. Today, the Senate brought these promising projections closer to reality.

"All eyes are now on the House that is in a position to swiftly pass the Senate legislation before members leave next week and get the bill to the President’s desk."

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About SEIA:
Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of 700 solar energy manufacturers, project developers, distributors, contractors, installers, architects, consultants and financiers. Established in 1974, SEIA works to expand the use of solar technologies in the global marketplace, strengthen research and development, remove market barriers, and improve education and outreach for solar.


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