Indiana Solar Incentives & State-Specific Solar Power Facts

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Originally published on Cost of Solar.

solarpanelsroof Indiana Solar Incentives & Solar Energy Facts

The next installment in our series on state solar incentives and facts has information on Indiana solar incentives for the residential and commercial sector, followed by some facts about solar energy in Indiana.

Unlike some states, such as California, which seem like a natural fit for residential and small-scale commercial solar power systems, Indiana probably isn’t a state that comes to mind when thinking about harvesting energy from the sun, but the Hoosier State is also a great place to go solar.

Indiana Solar Incentives:

Just as is the case all across the US, a federal tax credit for solar power is available in Indiana, which can cover up to 30% of the installed cost of a solar energy system. On the state level, there are also a number of state-specific incentives.

Indiana Net Metering: Net metering allows utility customers to receive credit on their bills for the energy that their solar electricity system produces. 40% of a utility’s net metering capacity must be residential solar installations in Indiana, and projects up to 1 MW in size qualify for the program. In effect, this program can offset the electricity demand at your home or business with the energy generated by your home solar system.

Indianapolis Power & Light Net Metering: All IPL customers who install, own and operate their own small-scale solar energy system, up to 50kW, may qualify for IPL’s Net Metering rate.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO): Net Metering or Feed-in Tariff programs for Indiana solar power allow owners of solar systems (or those planning to install one) to sell the power generated back to NIPSCO.

Indianapolis Power & Light Company: Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program: Available to both residential and small- to medium-sized commercial and industrial customers for projects over 2kW, providing incentive payments of $1 per watt, up to $4,000 per system.

Duke Energy Net Metering Rate Options and Tariffs Duke’s net metering program “encourages small-scale renewable energy systems, ensures that customers always have a reliable source of energy from the grid during times when their renewable generators are not producing energy, and provides substantial benefits to the electric power-generating system, the economy, and the environment.”

Feed In Tariff (FIT): NIPSCO offers a feed-in tariff program up to $0.30/kWh for customers who generate electricity from solar panels, and all NIPSCO electric customers in good standing, with systems sized between 5kW and 5MW, are eligible for the program.

Indiana Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption: Systems that generate energy using solar power are exempt from property tax, with “the entire renewable energy system and affiliated equipment that is unique to the system, including equipment for storage and distribution” qualifying for this incentive.

Indiana Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Electrical Generating Equipment:Transactions involving manufacturing machinery, tools, and equipment are exempt from the state gross retail tax “if the property is used for the production of tangible personal property, which includes electricity.”

Indiana Income Tax Deduction for Solar-Powered Roof Vents or Fans: While not directly considered a home solar power system, Indiana allows residents to take a deduction on solar-powered roof fans or attic fans installed in a home that they own or leases, up to 50% of the cost of the materials and installation labor (up to $1,000).

Rural Indiana Solar Incentive: Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance (loans and grants) to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in rural America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems.

There are also a number of utility rebate programs for energy efficiency in Indiana, which can help make a solar PV array more effective by reducing the energy use in both residential and commercial buildings.

The City of Indianapolis has the EcoHouse Project, an energy-efficiency loan program for medium- and low-income homeowners in Indianapolis, which are available for a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades, with a cap of $15,000.

The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, and the Department of Code Enforcement, offers reduced permit fees for projects in Indianapolis or Marion County meeting certain green building criteria, including the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. This green building incentive can cover up to 50% of the permit costs, and property owners or developers that are constructing new buildings (or completing major renovations) are eligible.

The City of Bloomington Indiana offers waivers for filing and permit fees, and other incentives for developers, for incorporating the city’s sustainability goals, one of which is renewable on-site energy sources, into their designs.

Indiana Solar Energy Facts

Here are a few Indiana solar power facts, courtesy of SEIA:

  • The largest solar power system on airport real estate in North America is at the Indianapolis International Airport in Indiana
  • The Indiana CHOICE Program, the state’s clean energy portfolio standard, aims to have electric utilities have at least 10% clean energy in their portfolios by 2025
  • More than 52 solar companies are at work in Indiana, employing 1,500 people.
  • In 2013, Indiana installed 54 MW of solar electric capacity, which ranks it 11th nationally.
  • 58 MW of solar energy is currently installed in Indiana, which ranks it 20th in the country in installed solar capacity. This is enough solar energy to power 5,600 homes.
  • In 2013, $112 million was invested to install solar for home, business and utility use in Indiana.
  • Coal-fired electric power plants provided about 84% of Indiana’s net electricity generation in 2013, so installing a home solar system can help move the clean energy needle in the state’s energy portfolio.
  • Indiana ranks 9th in the nation in total energy consumed per capita, so energy efficiency and clean energy generation together could go a long way to reducing that ranking.

More on Indiana solar power from the Indiana Office of Energy Development

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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