Thursday, May 12, 2011

Georgia Solar Tax Credits Spur Economic Growth

/PRNewswire/ -- With the signature of Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia's solar energy tax credit is increasing to $5 million annually in 2012, 2013 and 2014 from the current $2.5 million yearly limit. The new law, which the General Assembly approved last month, helps ensure that the vibrant solar energy industry in Georgia continues to thrive, creating jobs and new investment opportunities statewide.

Businesses are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in tax credits to offset the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating systems, and homeowners are eligible to receive up to $10,500 in tax credits for residential solar energy systems. The tax credits must be taken over four years. If the $5 million ceiling is reached in any year, eligible taxpayers on a waiting list will have priority over taxpayers that apply for the credits in subsequent years. The Georgia Department of Revenue will determine other administrative details about the tax credits.

Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA) Board Member and Advocacy & Education Committee Chairman Greg Chafee, head of the Energy Practice at Morris Manning & Martin, said Governor Deal's leadership made a crucial difference in creating the new solar investment opportunity.

"Thanks to support from Governor Deal, Senate Floor Leader Ronnie Chance (R-Peachtree City), and Representative David Knight, (R-Griffin) Chairman of the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation, a robust solar energy industry in Georgia will generate employment, improve and diversify our energy infrastructure, and bring the latest in technological innovation to the state," Chafee said.

Anthony Coker, Senior Director for Suniva, Inc., and Vice-Chairman of GSEA, said the increased solar tax credits will help Georgia compete in the economic development market with a meaningful ripple effect on the state's economy.

GSEA board member Sylvia Minton, senior vice president for Mage Solar, a German solar manufacturer with a production facility in Dublin, Ga., Board Member James Marlow, CEO of Radiance Solar, and GSEA State Program Director Joy Kramer attended the signing ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol.

In 2010, clean energy tax credits totaling almost $2 million were awarded to 47 solar PV projects and 90 solar water heating installations in Georgia. The tax credits helped to develop major new solar energy projects including:

* Choate Construction Company Headquarters Building, Atlanta, 74 KW capacity, designed and built by Empower Energy Technology, Atlanta, $575,000 pre-incentive value.
* White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Ga., beef processing facility, 50,000-watt capacity, $326,000 pre-incentive value, designed and built by Hannah Solar, Atlanta.
* Persimmon Creek Vineyards, sustainable winery in Clayton, GA, solar array designed and built by Radiance Solar, Atlanta.


GSEA Chairman Doug Beebe said he is grateful that Governor Deal and legislative leaders recognize the growing contribution the solar industry is making to Georgia's economy.

"The increased availability of tax credits provides encouragement and support for our hard-working, solar manufacturers, installers, suppliers and consultants to help ensure that they continue to grow and flourish," Beebe said while also noting the upcoming June 24th Solar Summit at Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center.

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