Hawaii extends solar tax credit

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Hawaii state lawmakers last week voted to extend solar tax credits within the state, but adopted a plan to gradually phase out the credit from 30 percent of installation costs to 15 percent over the next five years.

HB497 heavily endorses solar hot water systems, placing a $2,500 cap on single-family residences and a $500 cap on multi-family homes, according to the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection (EEP).

"What we've done here, is taken input from stakeholders on all sides of the issue to come up with a comprehensive solution that keeps the economy growing and continues to expand access to renewable energy in a fiscally responsible manner," said EEP Chair Chris Lee, in a statement. 

Hawaii is a prime location for solar energy, and has taken significant steps to boost renewable energy production. The state recently opened the 69 MW Kawailoa wind farm, the largest in its history. State law mandates 70 percent clean energy for electricity and transportation by 2030, with 40 percent of that coming from local renewable sources.

In addition to state proposals, Federal residential renewable tax credits are currently available for up to 30 percent of costs of new solar systems and due to expire in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more:
- see the proposed legislation

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