WASHINGTON, DC – Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement today on President Barack Obama signing tax legislation into law that extends the Department of Treasury Section 1603 program for one year:
“It took a year of tireless effort from the entire solar industry and our champions in Congress to get an extension of the 1603 program. President Obama and our bipartisan champions in the Senate and House recognize that the solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in our country, and this extension will create tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
“This is a great day for America’s solar industry. With an extension of the 1603 program now in place, the solar industry can continue its record growth, creating new career opportunities for Americans in all 50 states in 2011."
The program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Section 1603) to provide commercial solar installations with a cash grant in lieu of the 30 percent solar investment tax credit (ITC). President George W. Bush signed the 8-year ITC into law in 2008, but the economic conditions created by the global recession made it clear that few would be able to utilize the tax credit.
So far, the TGP has helped move forward more than 1,100 solar projects in 42 states and supported $18 billion in investment. The program has been critical in allowing the solar industry to grow by over 100 percent in 2010, create enough new solar capacity to power 200,000 homes and provide work to more than 93,000 Americans.