Friday, May 25, 2007

Solar Energy - Wait till October if you're a Business

Solar energy projects should wait till October. That's a little counter-intuitive. After all, there's not a lot of sun in October in Portland.
The thing is, solar projects are driven by both the desire to help the environment, and to save money. The money part is the big factor here.
Oregon House Bill 2211 is nearly law and will not only increase the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits to 50% (with limitations), but will also allow you to add it to the Federal Tax Credit (30% through 2008). That's 80% of your cost in tax credits.
Tax Credits are better than cash because they're AFTER TAX money. If your tax rate is 40% that's about 1.66x better than cash. On top of that, you get to DEDUCT the full cost of the project. If you do the math, Solar is win-win.
For God's sake confirm this with accountants, Dept. of Energy, the IRS and everyone else smart, because I may not know what I'm talking about.
Also, there's money from the utilities (aka Energy Trust of Oregon). $2.25 per watt you generate if you're a business. That's $2,250 per kW.
If you're not a business there are still Federal & State credits and incentives to be had.
Enough so your project may be break-even if you do a small one.

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