There are many reasons, both economic and environmental, businesses and organizations may choose to convert to solar powered energy. Whether the goal is to reduce utility expenses, or to help the environment, now is an opportune time to explore solar energy for Pennsylvania businesses and organizations.
Federal and state regulations, as well as the reduction in up-front investment costs, have created a clear path to move to solar more easily than in years past. At Reynolds, our team of energy engineers offers three economic reasons for businesses to move to solar energy:
1. Solar Panel Costs Have Decreased Significantly
While solar power was discovered in 1839 by physicist Edmond Becquerel, it wasn’t until 1954 the first practical solar cell was invented by Bell Labs. Even then, the cells were not very efficient, operating at just 2% efficiency and costing $1,785/watt (of rated capacity). Over the next several decades, technology improved, creating a means for businesses to convert to solar energy. Today, commercially produced solar cells can be produced and installed for under $3/watt and operate between 19% and 23% efficiency. Solar technology has improved exponentially in the last decade, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, costs for solar installation have dropped by 63% since 2010.
2. Pennsylvania SRECs Market Is on the Rise
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are “green certificates” that are awarded to a certified and registered solar facility for every 1,000 Kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced. The owner of an SREC may opt to sell the credit to utility companies who are required by the state to produce a portion of generated power through renewable resources. Prior to 2017, Pennsylvania allowed SRECs to be sold into the state from anywhere across the country. Thanks to Act 40, PA has since closed its borders, adding value to SRECs produced within the Commonwealth. Solar experts predict that the market for SRECs in Pennsylvania will continue to improve for the foreseeable future.
3. Federal Tax Credit of 30% on Solar Projects
The federal solar investment tax credit, or SITC, allows businesses to deduct 30% of the cost of solar panel installation from federal taxes. First enacted in 2006, the incentive has not only helped businesses finance their solar projects but also fueled the solar industry growth by an astounding 10,000%. The tax credit was extended in 2015 for five years and although set to expire in 2020, there is current legislation in Congress for another extension. The tax credit is not available to public entities such as school districts, however, the incentive can be realized by schools through several financing options for new solar projects.
At Reynolds, we work with businesses and school districts in Pennsylvania to help them realize their construction, renovation and energy savings projects through performance contracting, energy engineering, retro-commissioning, energy consulting and more. If your business or organization is interested in integrating clean energy solutions such as solar technology into your facilities, reach out today to discuss ways Reynolds can partner with you to make your project a success.
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Reynolds is a full-service building solutions provider offering construction, construction management, hybrid construction, restoration, energy, and commissioning and engineering services. Reynolds works with clients in a variety of industries including K12, commercial and industrial, healthcare, higher education, government, hospitality and transportation.
Reynolds is a partner organization with SitelogIQ, a national full-service facility design, engineering, construction, management, energy, and lighting solutions company dedicated to creating healthy, efficient indoor environments that promote productivity and improved experiences. For more information about SitelogIQ, visit www.SitelogIQ.com.