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Solar Growth and the Incentive Tax Credit: What Businesses Should Know

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2015 was another record-breaking year for the U.S. solar industry.

According to an upcoming report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. solar industry installed a record 7,286 megawatts of solar PV in 2015 — a 17 percent increase over 2014. 

The chart below highlights the year-over-year growth in U.S. solar installations. 

Source: U.S. Solar Market Insight report, GTM Research/SEIA 

Geographically, California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York all led the way in new installations and 13 states added more than 100 megawatts last year. 

Commercial installations also topped one gigawatt for the fourth consecutive year and Direct Energy Business played a part in helping surpass the milestone. In July, we unveiled a groundbreaking 1.2 megawatt rooftop solar project with H-E-B and SolarCity in Weslaco, Texas. More recently, we announced an innovative 13.6 megawatt remote solar project with Johns Hopkins University and SolarCity in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. 

What is helping sustain the growth in commercial solar installations? 

Among several factors, the incentive tax credit (ITC) for solar systems. The ITC — which was extended in December for another three years — is a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties, offering homes and businesses cost-effective clean power and price certainty. Given the popularity of the tax credit, GTM Research estimates the new extension will help drive a whopping $130 billion in total investment

So, given the opportunity, should your business consider joining the trend? Here are a few important questions to first consider: 

  • Is your business affected by price volatility? 
  • Does your business need greater price certainty? 
  • Can your business benefit from solar's affordability and tax incentives? 
  • Have you set sustainability goals? 
  • Are you currently pursuing smarter energy management?

To learn how your business can potentially take advantage of the solar tax credit extension, please read our "Going Solar" checklist and request a consultation

Posted: March 02, 2016