Regulation & Incentive

Unlike at the homestead carport solar projects levels, at the industrial or commercial levels, the solar carports installed generate a lot of energy, some of which can be used within the property itself and the rest sold to electricity distributing companies through the main grid. Indeed, according to Robinson et al. solar panels can be installed in parking lots at different levels, starting with homesteads which cover one or two vehicles and commercial and industrial which cover many cars (7360), as is the case in Intel’s installed solar carport at Chandler, covering approximately 3,200 parking spots and producing approximately 7.7 megawatts.

 

In Texas, according to Go Solar, where the generated capacity exceeds one megawatt, in line with the requirements of Section 16.5 of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Nodal Protocols, should be registered. Within the same protocols, where the same is expected to be equal to or more than 10 megawatts, ERCOT mandates a more rigorous connection and registration process. These laws encourage individuals or entities to install and use solar generated-energy, while at the same time ensuring standardization and regulation, to mitigate any risks or threats to neighborhoods and the environment.

In a bid to encourage the use of solar as a source of energy, the state has enacted a number of tax rewards for both individuals and businesses. The state has adopted the use of state tax rebates, solar tax credits, property tax exemptions and the 30% Federal tax rebate. As such, homeowners in Texas can save a lot by going for solar energy.

 

One of the most common Texas solar rebate programs is the Austin Energy Program that offer rebates ranging from $0.50 to $0.80 per Watt of Solar Power installed and a payment of $0.113 for every generated kilowatt-hour. CPS energy is another rebate program that gives customers up to $1.20 per watt. Oncor, Garland Power and City of Sunset Valley are other examples of solar tax rebates in Texas.

 

For some utilities that have a metering policy like Green Mountain and CPS energy, the solar users receive credits on the extra electricity their solar panels produce. Of all the tax benefits, the federal tax credit for solar is the best incentive in the country. The users are able to save 30 percent of the cost of the solar panel system.  The credit that was established under the Energy policy Act of 2005 applies for personal taxes. Currently, the credit is at 30 % though it will fall to 26 % in 2020, 22 % in 2021 and 10 % in 2022.Initially, the tax credit was capped but the cap was removed via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Energy Sage)