Now that the automatic federal spending cuts for the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year have been triggered, industry experts have confirmed that these cuts will affect the U.S. Department of Treasury's Section 1603 cash-grant program, which provided grants to many solar projects.
The sequestration percentage for the grants will be 8.7% through Sept. 30, 2013, according to a client alert from law firm Akin Gump. This reduction will apply to cash-grant applications that receive award letters on or after March 1 of this year.
In addition, the Treasury has offered a few new clarifications on program rules. First, an applicant that is asked follow-up questions about its application must respond within 21 days. ‘Missing that deadline means the application is terminated, and, at this stage in the program, the applicant may not re-apply,’ Akin Gump warns in the client alert.
However, the Treasury will provide a 30-day extension to the response period if the applicant requests it. ‘If the applicant requests the extension and then responds in full before the end of the extension period, Treasury's review process with respect to the response will start when the response is complete (rather than at the end of the extension period),’ the company explains.