Good news from the Buckeye State! The legislature passed important tax reform that drops the tax burden for solar farms from upwards of $100,000 per MW to a flat fee of $7,000 per MW. The bill (SB232) – which is expected to be signed by the Governor any day now - removes a major barrier to large-scale solar development in the state.
Existing Ohio tax law added these unreasonably high costs to the price of developing solar and other renewables. In early 2010 Governor Strickland sounded the call for change as part of his state of the state address. That set the stage for legislative action. February saw the introduction of SB232 by Senator Widener (R), a bill that proposed a flat fee in lieu of the onerous taxes. After hefty ne
gotiations (and support voiced by Vote Solar members in the state!), SB 232 passed both Houses in the wee hours last Friday.
This special tax exemption applies to clean energy projects built between now and 2011, a great incentive to hasten solar development in the state. Additionally, projects with a nameplate capacity of less than 250KW are now permanently exempt from the personal property taxation.
SB232 also contained language that expands last year’s passage of PACE enabling legislation to include energy efficient improvements along with solar. This PACE victory comes with strong concerns from energy efficiency advocates since utilities have access to the efficiency credits gained through PACE.
All in all, great progress made in setting up the kind of policy infrastructure that Ohio needs to be able to meet its solar goals. Thanks to all our Ohio members who emailed their legislators in support of SB232.
12 MWDC Wyandot Solar project, Upper Sandusky, Ohio developed, constructed and operated by juwi solar Inc.
Today our own Jim Baak is up in Carson City presenting a new report designed to help Nevada legislators understand the economic and environmental benefits waiting to be unleashed by utility-scale solar development in the state. Jim will be joined by our friends at the Large-scale Solar Association who have a tax abatement report of their own to discuss today.
Jim’s findings answer the question, what do those benefits really look like for the Silver State? A modest 2,000 megawatts of large-scale solar developed in Nevada over the next seven years would deliver:
• Jobs created: 5,900 jobs per year associated with project construction and 1,200 full-time jobs for plant operation and management.
• Wages and salaries: $5 billion in cumulative direct, indirect and induced earning associated with the projects.
• Economic impact: Nearly $11 billion in goods and services generated in the state as a result of project development and operation.
• Sales and property taxes paid: $500 million over the life of the projects, assuming proposed tax abatement levels are passed by the state.
• Greenhouse gas emission reduction: 4.6 million tons of carbon dioxide, 81 tons of methane, and 27 tons of nitrous oxide avoided each year that the projects are in operation.
* LSA’s report focuses on one critical policy tool – tax abatements – that can help unlock Nevada’s large-scale solar opportunity. The race is on to develop large-scale solar across the southwest; this is Nevada’s chance to lead the pack. Nevada currently has the most competitive tax structures amongst its sunny neighbors – but they’re set to expire in June. If Nevada’s tax credits are extended as currently proposed, the state will have a formidable advantage over California and Arizona, and stand first in line to capture those benefits outlined above.
Solar of all shapes and sizes represents tremendous opportunity for this state that’s facing soaring unemployment rates, growing electricity needs and the escalating costs of battling climate change. With draft bills and proposed legislation moving fast and furious, there’s no doubt that solar is a priority. We’re working alongside our peers in the solar industry to help legislators put smart policies in place to unleash a strong in-state solar market and deliver benefits to all Nevadans.