Solar power generation has been enjoying something of a boom in North Carolina. As of right now, the state is said to rank among the top four in the country for installed solar capacity. The only state with more utility-scale projects underway is California.
Those in the industry readily acknowledge that one of the reasons for the boom is the fact that lawmakers at the state and federal levels have been offering support. Experts say a 35 percent tax credit for solar efforts in our state has spurred investment, created jobs and boosted spending. But that’s ending as of the close of this year. What will happen?
Just as there is no way to predict how a particular legal case will fare in court, there is no sure way to know whether the end of this tax credit will serve to scuttle solar energy business formation and planning.
Lawmakers who used to back the credit but now don’t say that they don’t think solar is going to go away. At least one industry executive agrees. He says growth in the industry has been solid and that layoffs in his company aren’t anticipated.
But he also says that the end of the tax credits will probably mean a slowing in new investment going forward. And another energy industry official says it could crimp the spread of solar into homes and individual businesses.
Whether one agrees with the move to end the solar tax credit or not, it is something to which businesses need to adapt. Preserving desirable tax treatment is always something to work for, but if the environment changes businesses must, too. And working with experienced legal counsel is a way to assess strategic options and pursue those most desirable.