Archive for the ‘Grants and Rebates’ Category

Congress Passes Extension of Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Solar

Posted December 18th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, Congress passed the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes tax extenders and $1.1 trillion in government funding. The spending package includes a pivotal extension of the federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy. The bill is the result of a bicameral and bipartisan compromise, by which Congressional Democrats pursued the extension of this federal subsidy as partial compensation for lifting the ban on US crude oil exports. At first, Democrats believed that the bill would be a loss for the environment, but Democratic leaders urged their party members to recognize the net benefits of extending support for renewable energy development.

“May the force be with you,” quipped Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), encouraging her fellow Senators to vote in favor of the package just hours after the House passed the bill. The bill passed both chambers of Congress by impressive majorities. The House approved by a 316 to 113 vote, and the Senate approved by a 65 to 33 vote.

While existing law provided the 30% solar ITC through the end of 2016, the extension guarantees 30% through 2019, declining to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the 10% credit for Section 48 (commercial) projects will remain in place, per existing law. However, the bill includes “commence-construction” provisions that allow projects to qualify if they come on-line by the end of 2023. These extensions will help states to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard and other renewable energy goals by helping project owners offset the cost of investing in renewable energy. The federal ITC, coupled with additional incentives, such as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), encourages investment in renewable technologies across the country.

The ITC extension will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the solar industry. Experts project that the extension will increase solar installations by 54 percent (compared to a non-extension scenario) and create a 20 GW annual solar market through 2020. The extension is expected to impact utility-scale solar the most, where installations could increase by as much as 73% through 2020. Comparatively, residential installations are expected to experience a 35% growth, and commercial installations are expected to grow by 51%. This anticipated development will spur economic growth and an anticipated incremental investment of $40 billion in the solar industry.

After proposing an extension of the ITC in his 2016 budget earlier this year, the passage of this bill reinforces President Obama’s inaugural commitment to addressing climate change and protecting the planet for future generations. The bill also follows the historic adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was made at COP21 in Paris earlier this month. Although the Agreement still needs to be adopted by the U.S. Government, the President is resolute that the Agreement will survive Republican opposition and become law. In a statement following COP21, President Obama said that “this moment can be a turning point for the world[,]” and this bill is certainly a step in the right direction for America’s commitment to the new international goal.

Delaware 2013 SREC Procurement Program Announced

Posted March 11th, 2013 by SRECTrade.

SEU Logo




2013 SREC Procurement Auction News Release

Wilmington, DE, March 8, 2013 –The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), announced today the dates for the commencement of its 2nd Solar Renewable Energy Credit Procurement auction. The application process will commence on March 25th and accept applications through April 12th. The procurement program creates a market in Delaware for the buying and selling of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). SRECs allow generators of renewable energy to sell credits to Delmarva Power for its compliance with state standards for renewable energy development. These credits can accrue automatically to solar panel owners and often can be traded and sold like stocks on the stock market.

This second procurement auction follows last year’s successful pilot program. The program is designed to bring price stability through 20-year SREC contracts offered by the SEU in a manner that helps to drive down long-term energy costs for everyone. The procurement program for 2013 is being improved based on an evaluation and recommendations by the Delaware Renewable Energy Task Force which made recommendations to the Public Service Commission as part of Delmarva Power’s petition to enter into an agreement with the SEU to offer the auction. On January 22, 2013, the Public Service Commission approved moving forward with the second auction. One important change approved by the Public Service Commission is an expansion of the program to enable owners of solar systems installed prior to December 30, 2010 to participate.

Senator Harris B. McDowell III, Chairman of the SEU stated, “Building on our very successful Solar Pilot Program in 2012 where 9800 SREC’s were procured and 91 new solar projects were incented this second auction is the latest step taken by the SEU to create jobs and promote renewable energy. The SEU is fulfilling its role as the one-stop shop for clean energy needs of all our citizens and businesses. The SREC Market will assure continued job creation in Delaware while cost-effectively increasing energy security, reducing our carbon footprint, and lowering the state’s pollution.” The Senator continued, “The unique capabilities of the SEU make the new solar auction possible. It can independently and transparently provide a statewide platform for buying and selling SRECs at the lowest price, and greatly reduce the long-term social, economic and environmental risks that future generations would otherwise face.”

SRECTrade, Inc. was selected by competitive bid to act as Procurement Agent for the program in 2012 and again for 2013. Mr. Kevin Quilliam, President of SRECTrade said, “SRECTrade started the first public, transparent market place for Delaware SRECs in 2009, and we look forward to continuing to support the evolution of the Delaware marketplace as the SREC Procurement Program is implemented. SRECTrade will use its leading SREC management platform and apply its market expertise in the execution of the program.”

The auction will be hosted at and all program information regarding the procurement will be posted on the site. SRECTrade will use its leading SREC management platform and apply its market expertise in the execution of the program. All information regarding the procurement will be available at and like the Pilot Procurement; all bids will be entered online at this site. The 2013 procurement auction will consist of five tiers, three for new systems and two for existing systems. All Tiers will be competitively bid. Each winning bid will enter into a contract for a term of 20 years. For the first 7 years, the SREC price will be the accepted bid price. For the remaining 13 years, the SREC price will be fixed at $50 per SREC. There will be no requirement for an owner representative in this solicitation, although owners can opt to use the services of an owner representative. The Solar Renewable Energy Credit price used in any return on investment calculations is not guaranteed. Winning any solicitation or auction is not guaranteed. The SREC price may vary.

For SEU Contact: Tony DePrima (302) 883-3038
For SRECTrade Contact: Kevin Quilliam (877) 466-4606

End of year installation rush amid repeat of 1603 concerns

Posted December 13th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

The 1603 Grant Program is set to expire on December 31st 2011, prompting a rush of end-of-year installations and a strong industry push to extend the program for another year. The  Treasury Department’s, 1603 Program is a 30% grant on the cost of renewable energy systems. The Program was created after the financial crisis in 2008 when it was difficult to find tax equity investors to take advantage of tax incentives like the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). In order to qualify for 1603 Grant funds projects must have invested 5% of the cost of the system prior to 12/31/11 or have done “physical work” on the project, prompting a surge in end-of-year equipment purchases and contract negotiations. It’s unclear if the program will be extended and many solar developers are not taking chances. The necessity of the 1603 Grant and uncertainty about its future is the likely culprit responsible for the recent surge in solar installations in NJ despite, the crash in SREC prices from $640 this spring to $225 this month.

This is not the first time that the solar industry has seen a 1603 driven end-of-year rush to go solar. The program was set to expire on 12/31/10, but was extended at the last minute after heavy industry pressure. Visit SEIA for more information on the 1603 Program and how you can support its extension.

PV Installations Rise amid 1603 Grant Concerns

Posted October 4th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

A recent report conducted by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research found that the US solar PV industry continued its growth through the first two quarters of 2011. Despite a slight decline in residential PV installations from Q1 to Q2, commercial and utility-scale solar installations surged, accounting for over 200 of the 314 MW installed in Q2 alone.

The impressive growth is partially attributed to the somewhat unpredictable schedule of the federal 1603 cash-grant, which covers 30% of project costs for commercial solar systems. Toward the end of 2010, project developers scrambled to get as many projects in the pipeline as quickly as possible over concerns that the grant would expire at the end of the year. Q4 in 2010 installed over 360 MW of capacity, up from roughly 187 MW in Q3 2010.

A carry-over from last year’s late rush to get projects underway contributed to the impressive numbers posted in Q1 2011. Though the grant program was extended through 2011, there is yet again a rising fear that the grant’s expiration is imminent. The US Congressional Join Select Committee (JSC), which was created to cut at least $1.2 trillion in federal spending, will likely eliminate the grant program upon its scheduled expiration at the end of the year. Though the program has been successful, awarding $8.5 billion overall (three times the projected amount of $3 billion), continuing the government-funded program is simply counter to JSC’s goal of reducing the current budget deficit.

A repeat of last year’s late surge is expected going into the last few months of 2011. In order to qualify for a grant, a system must begin construction by the end of the year. Similar to last year, a project is deemed to have begun construction based on the program’s “5% safe harbor” rule, which requires at least 5% of the total cost of the property or system to be paid by December 31, 2011. Projects only then need to be completed by the end of 2016 to qualify for the grant.

NJ solar rebate program suspended

Posted May 14th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

This week, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced they are suspending their popular solar incentive program. The rebate paid $1.00 per watt to commercial systems upto 50,000 watts and as high as $1.75 to residential systems.

New Jersey’s actions parallel those the cuts to solar incentives in Spain and the reduction of feed-in tariffs (FiT) in Germany. Fixed rebate programs and feed-in tariffs lack a market mechanism and don’t have the feedback mechanism inherent in a REC or SREC trading program. If legislators set the solar incentives too low, they don’t inspire any development. But when legislators set incentives too high, there is a gold rush — developer overwhelm the rebate or FiT programs that was engendering the frenzy.

These dramatic cuts highlight difference between rebates and feed-in tariffs and an SREC program. SRECs prices move according to supply and demand and are not subject to on-again, off-again whim of legislators and have proven to be a stable, long-term incentive that has been very effective stimulating solar development.

In New Jersey, SRECs are now an even bigger determinant of the economics of a project. With clear, transparent long-term contracts, solar investors and developers have clarity in the cash flows associated with solar. And for smaller systems looking to offset the high upfront costs of installation, prepaid SREC contracts are an interesting alternative to rebate programs – the current bids in New Jersey prepaid SRECs equivalent to approx. $2.27 per installed watt.

Subscribe to the SREC Blog by Email

Sustainable Energy Fund grant opportunity in Pennsylvania

Posted September 4th, 2009 by SRECTrade.

Sustainable Energy Fund, a Lehigh Valley-based non-profit organization that invests in renewable energy projects, energy efficiency projects, and energy education initiatives, announces a limited-time grant opportunity for small businesses in PA.  Must be within the PPL Electric Utilities territory, and if the project yields at least a measurable 15% increase in energy efficiency, a business may be eligible for up to $20,000.  Only one grant may be submitted per contractor or grant-seeking entity. Retrofits of existing buildings, ventilation systems, windows, automated control systems, lighting, or deployment of renewable energy technologies.

To view the entire program qualifications and eligiblilty, or to download an application, please visit