- The CEO of Sunnova, the largest privately held rooftop solar installer in the U.S., wrote to the leaders of the key congressional committees this week arguing an extension of the 30% federal investment tax credit for solar installations is no longer necessary for the continued growth of the industry.
- Sunnova CEO John Berger wrote to Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, informing them an extension of the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) after 2016 is not necessary “for the continued health of the solar industry.”
- “If the credit is allowed to step down as planned, the industry will remain more robust in both the long- and short-term,” Berger wrote. The industry has had “ample time to prepare” for the reversion of the ITC to its pre-2006 levels of 10% for commercial installations and zero for residential investments.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently launched an all-out effort to win extension of the ITC, and its spokesman said nothing was keeping Sunnova from opting out of the program.
"If they don't want to claim the credit, they don't have to," SEIA Spokesperson Dan Whitten told Politico.
Across the industry, solar companies are preparing strategies for how to grow through the expected ITC sunset and beyond.
In SolarCity’s Q2 earnings call, CEO Lyndon Rive and CFO Brad Buss agreed a forecast using a 10% ITC in 2017 “would still maintain healthy unlevered IRRs of approximately 7.5% and an equity NPV of roughly $0.60 per watt.”
On SunPower’s Q2 earnings call, Chair/President/CEO Tom Werner said his company’s cost reductions and improved performance offered “confidence in a potential post-ITC world.” Business Units President Howard Wenger said the economics for solar lease financing would continue to be strong with a 10% ITC, making possible “a robust business going into 2017.”
With solar “increasingly an established industry that no longer needs government subsidies to survive,” Sunnova's Berger wrote, Congress would serve it better by supporting its access to Master Limited Partnerships by passage of the MLP Parity Act and ensuring that “the next generation of the electric grid” offers “grid neutrality” and a level playing field for “all types of energy and technologies.”