• Don’t Let the Sun Set On Your Opportunity to Obtain A Grant for A Solar Installation
  • September 22, 2011 | Author: Hesser G. McBride
  • Law Firm: Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. - Woodbridge Office
  • Time is running out to take advantage of the Department of the Treasury’s Section 1603 grant for the installation of solar electric generation systems. For those property owners or lessors contemplating taking advantage of the unlimited potential of harnessing the power of the sun, the opportunity to receive a substantial amount of cash from the Federal government will soon expire. Under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, the Department of the Treasury reimburses eligible applicants for a portion of the expense of “specified energy property” used in a business. Such property includes equipment that uses solar power to generate electricity as well as the tangible property that is an integral part of the solar power generation activity. For solar energy property, the amount of the grant is thirty percent (30%) of the basis of the property, usually the cost including installation expenses and excluding depreciation adjustments. As an example, a $2 million solar project could result in a $600,0000 check from the United States not long after the facility is placed in service. Given the recent decline in the value of solar renewable energy certificates (“SRECs”), which are the principal mechanism to fund solar installations, many solar projects are not likely to be economically viable without the grant. Below, we provide an overview of how to take advantage of this limited time opportunity.