Fifteen years of taxpayers’ investment at risk if tax credits are allowed to expire
Asheville, NC – Led by Asheville-based renewable energy company Sundance Power Systems, a coalition of sixteen solar energy companies from across the state has joined forces calling out for support of their industry as the current legislature decides on the final budget. Their decision on whether or not to extend the State’s 35% Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (REITC) which has been tremendously instrumental to NC’s burgeoning solar economy threatens to destroy the investment NC has made in developing the solar industry in the State.
An ad placed by the group in Raleigh’s News & Observer today includes a cartoon warning “Dark Storm Threatens NC Solar Industry.” This rally for grassroots support and to pressure the legislature to renew the REITC stands on the significant economic growth that fifteen years of the incentive have brought to NC. Adopted in 1999, the tax credit was designed to enable renewable energy companies to increase market scale and reduce per unit costs until each resource can be part of a ‘least cost’ electricity resource mix without incentive, according to the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA.) It has gone through three rounds of extension since its inception, and is currently set to expire at the end of this year (December 31, 2015.)
“The credit has been incredibly successful, and is working,” stated Sundance Power System’s Co-Founder Dave Hollister. “The industry is almost to a point of sustainability but some support is still needed, contrary to the claim by opponents of its renewal that solar is ready to stand on its own and that the tax credits are no longer needed. That may be becoming true for the large utility-scale solar developers, but it is not true for the rooftop solar industry that this coalition represents.”
Renewable energy projects in NC have generated $1.54 in state and local government tax revenue for every $1.00 taken in tax credit, according to figures from NCSEA. This investment of tax payer’s money has been a positive economic force, and NC boosts the nation’s second strongest solar industry in 2014, supporting over 4,300 jobs. “Ending the tax credit prematurely would jeopardize the intent of the 15 year investment the taxpayers of NC have made to build a strong solar industry in the State. At some point solar tax credits should be phased out, that’s not the issue,” declared Hollister, “cutting them out now when we are so close to being sustainable will destroy the rooftop solar industry in North Carolina, cost thousands of jobs and set back our goals for a clean energy future immediately. This decision would be an absolute waste of our State’s resources.”
About Sundance Power Systems: Sundance Power Systems has been an active leader in the renewable energy industry since being founded in 1995. Dave Hollister, President and CEO, has been advocating for strong clean energy policies at legislative and utility levels for years, having served on the board of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and participating in Progress Energy’s Community Energy Action Advisory Council, among others.
For information, please visit www.sundancepower.com.