“Solar stimulus ready, set and... coming soon,” says industry leader, who calls for extension on grant application project sunset-date due to delays and presses for release of final application and remaining stimulus guidelines.


WASHINGTON, DC – Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement today on the announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury of guidelines for the renewable energy grant program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17:


“Solar stimulus is ready, set and ... coming soon. The Treasury guidelines allow solar developers to prepare formal applications that will be accepted at a later date. Once Treasury begins accepting grant applications, the solar industry will create tens of thousands of jobs and spur investment in the clean energy economy.


“Financing for commercial solar installations, including utility-scale solar plants, has been impaired by great uncertainty in financial markets and anticipation of stimulus provisions like the grant program. There are dozens of large solar power projects in the pipeline that can now move forward.


“While today’s announcement is a positive step and will create much-needed momentum in the nation’s economic recovery, we still await the final application form and guidance for several other stimulus programs like the Department of Energy loan guarantees and the manufacturing tax credit. We need these programs fully in place for the solar industry to have the game-changing economic impact we expect. The solar energy provisions in the stimulus bill were projected to create 60,000 jobs in the solar industry in 2009 alone.


“With delays in releasing the Treasury and other guidelines, we call on Congress to include a one-year extension of the grant program project sunset-date in the energy bill currently being debated so that the program meets the intended goals for jobs and investment.”


The Department of Treasury guidelines released today were required as part of a new program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provides grants equal to 30 percent of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010. This grant program is a critical alternative to the solar investment tax credits extended by Congress in October 2008 that are not functioning as intended because of the current economic climate.