Last week Senator Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced a bill in Congress to extend residential solar energy tax credits to community-based solar farm collectives. Current tax law allows homeowners to receive a 30% tax credit for installing solar panels on their property. The Solar Uniting Neighborhoods Act would extend the credit to community-owned solar farms, where neighbors designate sunny, treeless areas for installation of community solar panels. The tax credit would run until 2016.
Udall estimates that by grouping solar panels, the cost can be reduced by 30% compared to installing a panel or a set of panels on every roof in the neighborhood. In addition, by eliminating the requirement that the solar panel be on one individual's property, it frees Americans to work together on community projects where each individual can claim a tax credit on part of a shared project.
Udall said this is one of a number of clean energy jobs initiatives he plans to roll out in the coming months.