The Need for Clean Energy
As successive IPCC reports become increasingly urgent and the global conversation on climate change becomes more pronounced, nations and multinational corporations alike are beginning to see not only the environmental benefits of solar, but the cost benefits as well.
Solar is not just viable for big businesses, but for small and mid-sized ones as well. Businesses can take advantage of federal, state and local incentives to cut the initial cost of installation significantly. While most installations pay for themselves within a decade (most ROI is realized sooner than that) the warranty for many components last much longer (up to 25 years depending on the component), so by committing to a healthy offset, companies can enjoy lower energy costs well after the system is originally purchased.
Below are some of the current incentives available now:
Federal tax credit: Currently, the federal government offers a 30% investment tax credit on the cost of the system after rebates. This incentive, however will begin to decrease as follows:
- 2018 – 2019: The tax credit will remain at 30% of the system cost.
- 2020: The tax credit goes down to 26% of the system cost.
- 2021: The tax credit dips down again to 22%.
- 2022 forward: The tax credit will be 10%.
Currently, the state’s RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) requires 1,200 MW of solar to be installed by 2020 (or 2% of the state’s energy mix). As of the 2018 legislative session, Maryland is also now a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance which calls for Maryland to comply with the Paris Climate Accord standards. As the Maryland legislature considers increases to the RPS, the renewable energy targets will increase.
Additional Maryland incentives:
- SREC Program
- Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program
- Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with EV Charger Grant Program
Certain counties and cities throughout Maryland offer additional incentives and financing options (such as CLEER through Montgomery County’s Green Bank).
To check out more MEA incentives, click here.
With the passage of HB 1558/SB966, Virginia is emerging as a new solar state. The extensive bills call for sweeping clean energy measures, providing a base for more future targets to come. One of the main points of the legislation in to increase renewable capacity by calling for the construction of 5,000 MW of solar & wind facilities in the state. Additional Virginia incentives:
- Virginia SAVES Green Community Program
- Energy Efficient Buildings Tax Exemption
For more information on Virginia’s solar incentives click here for the Virginia DEQ website.
State and local incentives change frequently. Ask one of our knowledgeable staff members about further incentives that may apply for your site