President signs 1 year 1603 extension!

Included in the bill touted in the media as the “extension of the Bush tax cuts,” is a one year extension for the Treasury 1603 grant.

This grant has been instrumental in the growth of the solar industry in the past few years.  It allows a PV system owner to receive a cash grant of 30% of the total cost of the complete system instead of using the 30% federal tax credit.

Because many system owners do owe significant taxes the tax credit is effectively lost unless the Treasury 1603 grant is in place.   This cash grant is sent to the system owner within 60 days of application.   It opens the door for businesses and commercial PV system owners who do not have significant tax liabilities to still be able to use the 30% “rebate.”

This program is an excellent program (as far as program’s go).  There has been considerable fighting in the senate and house to get this extension included in the current tax bill.

Yesterday, on December 17th, president Obama signed it into law (for at least one more year).  So far, the Treasury Grant Program (TGP) has helped move forward more than 1,100 solar projects in 42 states and supported $18 billion in investment. The program has been critical in allowing the solar industry to grow by over 100% percent in 2010, create enough new solar capacity to power 200,000 homes and provide work to more than 93,000 Americans.

Installing a PV system on a business (or rental property) has never made more sense than right now.

Randy Velker is the owner and operator of SimpleEnergyWorks which installs solar photovoltaic systems on the Cumberland Plateau.

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