Published on December 6th, 2016 | by Steve Hanley0
Oregon Solar Tax Credit Set To Expire In 1 Year, Push Forming To Renew It
December 6th, 2016 by Steve Hanley
Originally published on sister site Solar Love.
Progressive politics are the rule in the Pacific Northwest, and that includes so-called “sunset provisions” in local and state legislation. The theory is that policies should expire automatically after a certain amount of time has elapsed. If the policy still enjoys popular support, it can be re-enacted. The current Renewable Energy Tax Credit for people who install residential solar systems on their homes is due to expire in a little over a year on January 1, 2018, but the Oregon legislature is considering extending the RETC “for two years or until a replacement program is adopted.”
The Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association has made extending RETC a priority during the 2017 legislative session. It says a two-year extension is a “good starting point,” but wants to go further “to align with timelines set for the federal Investment Tax Credit.” Federal law authorizes a 30% tax credit for the cost of a solar power system through the end of 2019. After that, the credit drops to 22% in 2020, then 22% for the next three years after that.
According to a recent Public Utility Commission report, RETC cost the state of Oregon $55.8 million from 2001 through 2015 and resulted in 41.9 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity — about 75% of it for rooftop solar. Residential solar has been growing at a steady rate in Oregon, but it hasn’t taken off the way utility-scale solar has. GTM Research says Oregon saw 88 megawatts of utility-scale solar installed in the first 9 months of the year, compared to 9 megawatts of residential solar.