Information and analysis provider IHS reports that a large swath of PV projects in the US are on track to be completed and operational before the expiration of the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) on 31 December 2016.
In total, IHS notes that over 32GW of projects that rank over 5MW in size are currently in development or undergoing construction — with the largest amount of installations located in California.
According to IHS’ Solar Deal Tracker database, NextEra has noted that 1.5GW of Hanwha Q Cells will be installed by the end of 2016. This motion will include projects in states such as California, Georgia, Florida and Hawaii.
Christine Beadle, senior analyst for IHS Technology, said: “Canadian Solar dramatically increased its project pipeline in the United States, with the company’s recent acquisition of Recurrent Energy. Many of these projects are set to be completed prior to the 2016 deadline, including a 150 MW project for Austin Energy in Texas and several other projects in California.”
As many companies race against the ITC expiration date, some developers have run into issues, such as facing approval delays, locking in a power off-taker or various conservation and environmental issues.
Beadle added: “Newly proposed projects appear to be primarily located in less contentious areas and developed at sizes that are likely to promote a high potential for success in a short time. Recent project approvals by the Bureau of Land Management encourage installations in designated Solar Energy Zones.”
If the ITC deadline is not extended, the tax credit will drop to 10% in 2017, forcing developers to work at a breakneck pace to connect these projects to the grid ahead of 2017.
As companies rush to meet with investors and other players in the PV market to complete their projects as soon as possible, bills have been proposed in the House of Representatives to help extend the ITC deadline for another five years.