The clock is ticking on 30% federal solar credit

peakbagger Posted By peakbagger, Jan 25, 2019 at 5:09 PM

  1. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,218
    1,164
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Unless extended, the 30% federal rebate is over at the end of 2019. The equipment has to be in service (which includes utility approval. There is still a credit in later years it just phases out. 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 and then 10% thereon.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 19, 2017
    784
    509
    Loc:
    Woolwich nj
    Good to know.. got mine installed this fall and will be enjoying my credit this april
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,218
    1,164
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    The chinese are claiming that the price of solar panels are not going to be dropping anymore and may increase in price as the excess manufacturing capacity has been taken care of. If the prices had kept dropping at the same rate, the reduced federal rebate next year would have been offset by the reduced cost of panels.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Snagdaddy

    Snagdaddy
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 14, 2015
    35
    14
    Loc:
    Rust Belt
    Hopefully the solar/renewables/battery power fiasco is coming to an end. If we don't maintain our fossil fuel lifeline we will suffer forever with interrupted service.
     
  5. bholler

    bholler
    Chimney sweep 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Jan 14, 2014
    16,927
    3,812
    Loc:
    central pa
    Or we could continue to develop alternatives that will diversify our energy sources leading to less chance of interrupted service.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    erikhild59, spirilis and pen like this.
  6. DBoon

    DBoon
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 14, 2009
    1,094
    185
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Ha ha, yeah. Pretty funny.

    As long as you don't want to force everyone else to pay more for expensive fossil fuel electricity and outdated utility generation, transmission and distribution systems that fatten investor pockets but only deliver 1/3 of the BTUs the consume as fuel, I'm ok with whatever you personally want to spend your money on.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    erikhild59 likes this.
  7. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    826
    298
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I am hoping to do solar at some point. I don't know when as we have many pressing house repairs. Can someone post a link to more details about the solar credit?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,218
    1,164
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    The federal tax credit is important but far more important is how the utility treats grid tied solar. The governor and legislature of Maine up until recently has made solar unattractive in Maine. With the new governor and legislature things may change. Call your utility and find out how they deal with grid tied solar and how they pay for excess power generated that is sent to the grid. Generally net metering is the preferred method where excess power effectively "runs the meter backwards" with your excess generation and then when you need more power it just comes back through the meter. Some areas want to charge a fee for every KW your system sends to the gird and in some cases they even want a fee for every KW generated by your PV array even if you are using it.

    The solar tax credit is pretty simple, after you have applied all other rebates you get a tax credit of 30% of the value of the installed cost of the solar system. Note this is a tax credit not a deduction so even if you dont itemize you still get the credit against taxes owed. The only issue is to keep in mind is that you can only get a credit against tax owed. Someone on fixed income with no taxes may not owe enough taxes to get their money back. The credit carries forward to later years but it needs to be taken into account. One important thing to keep in mind is that the credit applies to the total installed cost. This is one of these "see your tax advisor" situations but many folks are claiming the credit for the cost of having to replace the underlying roof if its too old and others have claimed the replacement of main panel as it does not have enough capacity. Note if someone elects to go overboard like claiming the entire cost of the roof where only one part is covered with panels its pushing it. Reportedly the IRS rarely audits these credits but its up to what you or your tax advisor is willing to support. Others have done pole mounts and included the cost to run the trench and conduit in the cost to install the system. They just a happened to drop a few spare conduits for other reasons.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  9. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    826
    298
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I have read a little bit, probably here, about the issues with grid tied solar in Maine. I doubt the tax credit would benefit me at all due to my fixed income, as you mentioned. I highly doubt I have it in me to work enough to make the tax credit worth it. On the other hand I have cashed out some investments, federal tax withheld, this year and maybe it is worth it. I'll have to talk to the local tax prep office soon anyway.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. begreen

    begreen
    Mooderator 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    75,556
    11,807
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Dobish

    Dobish
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 26, 2015
    1,815
    863
    Loc:
    Golden CO
    I'm trying to take advantage of that credit to increase the size of my system. I will be adding 21 panels, paying for itself in 9 years based on the numbers for the low end production.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,218
    1,164
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I take it you have microinverters or optimizers?. Adding panels to string inverters is now a major PITA due to the rapid shutdown requirements and basically will be close to impossible if they go to the proposed standard of shutoff effectively at each panel barring someone coming up with an affordable remote cut off option at the panel level which is one step away from an optimizer.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. Dobish

    Dobish
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 26, 2015
    1,815
    863
    Loc:
    Golden CO
    we will be doing microinverters on the system.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    1c72f64fb67027d5b04bb1d936830821.jpg
    My 20 panel ground mount system is going in right now as I type this. In Arkansas I’m grandfathered in at 20 years with 1 to 1 net metering. The utilities are trying to change the agreement with new legislation, but I’m getting in under the old system. Note you must have a tax liability to get the credit, but thought after 2021 it’s no longer available even at 10%?
     
  15. CaptSpiff

    CaptSpiff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 13, 2014
    375
    93
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    What does "I’m grandfathered in at 20 years" mean?
    Do you have a legally binding contract?
    Or are you relying on a legislative stimulus program which can be revoked or changed by a new legislative agenda?

    Besides that question, bully on you for going solar! I want to get an array up as well. But I believe the present "net metering" stimulus is on short life. Just make sure the array size makes sense for you (ie don't over build). I think the future of Electric Utility billing will break out many components and with Time Of Use Smart Meters coming every where, your solar array will be just another Power Producer paid at market rates. And that will be fair for everyone.
     
  16. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    What I meant is that the rate I sell 1 kw to the utility, they sell it back to me at the same rate. I looked up the governing agency wording here in Arkansas and it states that the agreement at the time of install remains in effect for 20 years from my install. A state commission set this standard some years back, but my understanding is that the commission is under pressure to change the net metering agreement at the request of the utility companies operating in Arkansas. I understand that everything is fluid and can change quickly with new legislation. I’ll have to revisit the agreement to see how binding it is or if they’ve written an “out” for future changes in the legislation.

    Would love for battery capacity and cost to be more consumer favorable in the future and be able to disconnect from a utility’s dependence. Maybe in 15 or 20 years from now things will look different.
     
  17. semipro

    semipro
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 12, 2009
    3,466
    606
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Anyone know if these requirements only apply to roof-mounted panels? My understanding is that this requirement stems from safety concerns for fire fighters. It would seem that ground-mounted panels would negate this concern?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    Mine will have an auto disconnect if the power is lost from the utility. I’m doing a ground mount system.
     
  19. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    4,218
    1,164
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I have lost my best authority on the subject, Home Power Code Corner, but believe that RSD only applies to building mounted systems which seem to be the most prevalent systems installed. It does make sense as rarely does a PV system burn in an of itself so its unlikely that a firefighter or other worker could come into contact with live wires while the system is generating. The biggest potential is a fireman on a roof during fire operations but its also possible that the cabling insulation could be physically damaged by things like abrasion, rodents, or damage inflicted by operations on the roof (like a chimney sweep or roofer walking on cables). Ground mount systems rarely burn in and of themselves and all cabling and components are supposed to be protected from access by casual contact.and require a "tool" to access them. Some local AHJs require fencing around the array and others think its required by NEC. My pole mount wiring is protected by galvanized hardware cloth within reach of the ground. In either case it is the intent that casual contact by untrained people is prevented so no rapid shutdown is required.

    Ground mount systems do have their particular issues, I have seen several auctions of fire damaged solar panels from grass fires running under the panels. The backs of the panels are sooty and in some cases the cabling is damaged. I think its probably a bigger issue with large solar fields. They are practically giving away the panels as in many areas getting rid of large amounts of panels cost money as they are treated as special wastes.ground mounts also seem to be more impacted by objects thrown by lawnmowers.

    I have seen various claims that some firefighters will stand back and "let it burn" if there are roof mounted panels due to potential for electrocution. When I installed my original array, I found a good on line training course for firefighters having to deal with solar systems and sent it to the local fire chief to use in their monthly training.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    semipro likes this.
  20. Brian26

    Brian26
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 20, 2013
    386
    140
    Loc:
    Branford, CT
    Just curious but with .09 kwh electricty cost in Arkansas your payback must be like 15+ years? Arkansas is ranked 3rd for the cheapest power in the US.

    Here in New England the payback is usually 5-7 years with some of the most expensive electricity in the lower 48. Most of us are paying .21+ a kwh. Here in CT we pay the same as Alaska! Though we do have the some of best solar incentives.

    This is a great site to compare incentives and payback time.

    https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/state-solar-power-rankings/

    EIA electricity prices.

    https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_6_a
     
  21. Brian26

    Brian26
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 20, 2013
    386
    140
    Loc:
    Branford, CT
    Here is a comparison of MA with Arkansas.

    Screenshot_20190206-065259_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20190206-065249_Chrome.jpg
     
  22. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    Yes, in fact 15 years is exactly the ROI on my system. I’m hoping it still operates a few years after that date!

    Hey. We’re up 2 spots though.
     
  23. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
  24. Bigger_Al

    Bigger_Al
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 11, 2018
    99
    49
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    Okay, I now understand the price grading. It’s based on higher pricing being offset by solar.
     
  25. Where2

    Where2
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 3, 2013
    320
    58
    Loc:
    South Florida
    I'll be doing the same, this year. It took me 2 years of income to recover the last federal incentives back in 2013... FL has no state incentives, despite being nicknamed the "Sunshine State". The power companies tried (unsuccessfully) to make it more difficult to install solar in one of the last election cycles. They literally don't want competition for their own growing collection of 550 acre PV array farms...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page