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Strategies for tribal solar projects with potentially no out-of-pocket costs and significant savings

May 07, 2015

The price of solar energy generating systems has come down dramatically over the past several years. In addition, significant tax and other incentives exist for solar photovoltaic (electric) and solar thermal projects. Strategies that combine the reduced price of solar facilities together with valuable solar incentives can allow for the installation of solar facilities that provide both clean energy and reduced energy costs.

Godfrey & Kahn has worked with our tribal and other non-taxable clients on solar projects that utilize a combination of the significant 30 percent investment tax credit available for solar projects installed before the end of 2016, the accelerated depreciation that can apply to such projects and various other federal, state, and local incentives to allow for projects with no out-of-pocket costs to our clients and that provide substantial long-term energy cost savings.

Depending upon the price the tribe, tribal housing authority or other tribal entity pays for energy and the various federal, state and local utility incentives available, these projects can potentially allow for a tribal entity to obtain full ownership of the solar systems in a relatively short period of time solely through payments that are based on energy cost savings.

In addition, a substantial portion of our legal costs in structuring a solar project to take advantage of tax and other incentives can potentially be financed through the overall project costs, while still allowing for the clean energy benefits and savings described above.

If you would like to discuss strategies for your tribe to implement a cost-effective solar or other clean energy program, please contact John Clancy at jclancy@gklaw.com or 414.287.9256.

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If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Susan Steberl, Director of Marketing, at 414.287.9556 or ssteberl@gklaw.com.

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