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US grant programme for utility integration of solar power

The US Department of the Treasury has released guidance documents for the federal cash grant programme for solar electric projects, something the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says it is pleased to hear.

According to SEPA, the cash grant programme for solar power “is expected to further strengthen US electric utilities' ability to integrate solar electricity into the power grid in the near-term.”

The cash grants can be utilised in lieu of federal tax credits, which have become more difficult to monetise under current economic and market conditions. Furthermore, the Program Guidance, Terms and Conditions, and Sample Application documents will provide solar project developers, including electric utilities, with much needed guidance as they move forward in this uncertain business environment, SEPA says.

"In October 2008, the federal solar investment tax credit was extended to electric utilities – an important step in moving the electric utility industry towards a cleaner future," says Julia Hamm, SEPA's Executive Director. "The tax credits boosted utility interest in solar power, and the addition of the federal cash grant program will further assist electric utilities as they strive to meet their renewable portfolio standards and future power generation needs."

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity