The Real Deal Miami

Commercial building owners rush to install solar panels before federal incentives expire

December 02, 2010 01:16PM

Commercial building owners — in their haste to get in on the Treasury Department’s solar panel installation grants before the year-end deadline — have depleted some energy factories of their inventory, the New York Times reported. The federal program, instituted in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, covers 30 percent of the project’s cost and, according to a study by the U.S. Partnership for Renewal Energy Finance, has doubled nationwide investment in solar energy systems. More than 1,000 solar projects have been completed through the program, with investment expected to hit $6.7 billion by the end of this year, up from $3.4 billion in 2008. After Dec. 31, though, the 30 percent grant incentive will turn into a tax credit if it’s not renewed by Congress, and industry experts say that would likely mean a decline in solar investment. [NYT]