Iowa Senate unanimously passes bill to triple tax credits for solar power


A proposed bill that would triple the amount of tax credits available to Iowans that have installed solar panels was passed by a 46-0 vote in the Iowa State Senate.

A state tax credit, the Solar Energy System Tax Credit, was established in 2012 in order to provide incentives for farmers, businesses and ordinary citizens that install PV technology on their property. Thanks to the newly passed bill, Senate File 2340, the tax credit will jump up from US$1.5 million to US$4.5 million.

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If the bill becomes a law, it will allow a taxpayer to claim an Iowa credit equal to 60% of the federal solar tax credit instead of the 50% that is currently accepted.

The law would also boost the credit cap available to taxpayers from US$3,000 to US$5,000 and the credit cap available to businesses from US$15,000 to US$20,000.

Iowa has seen its solar market grow exponentially over the last few years. Six years ago, the largest PV installation in the Hawkeye State was a 7kW array in Hiawatha. This year, Farmers Electric Co-op is planning to construct an 800kW, 2,000 panel PV system in Kalona, highlighting the increasingly growing solar capacity in the state.

Senate File 2340 is just one of many pieces of US legislation designed to further boost the renewable energy sector in the country. In 2011, California governor Jerry Brown passed a law requiring that California’s utilities must get 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. 

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