The business case for investing in solar power has never been stronger for businesses and property owners in South Carolina, according to a new report from commercial real estate services firm Avison Young.
The report says bottom-line benefits can start accruing after just five years, with longer-term benefits including ongoing savings on power bills and a reduced reliance on more traditional forms of power generation. The recent extension of the U.S. federal government’s solar energy investment tax credit (ITC) and the state’s solar energy tax credit (which provides another 25% tax credit based on the purchase and installation costs, along with a five-year depreciation schedule) have helped establish an investment environment conducive to promoting solar power as a viable alternative energy source in South Carolina.
The report adds recent advances in solar technology and mass production are driving costs down, and with tax credits like those in South Carolina and other incentives, solar is becoming a more cost-effective solution.
“This topical report illustrates the benefits of considering solar as a long-term strategy for managing business costs, contributing positively to the environment via a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, and achieving an excellent return on investment,” comments Chris Fraser, managing director of Avison Young’s Charleston, S.C., office.
The topical report was prepared by Fraser in consultation with Alder Energy Systems of Charleston and other members of Avison Young.
The report notes that investment in solar technology is becoming more attractive in South Carolina and across the U.S. due to the adoption of federal and state tax incentives, as well as regulatory changes that call for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions and energy consumption, less coal consumption and replacement of aging power plants. In addition, utilities face increasing pressure to include alternative energy sources in their production portfolios.
The report concludes that the use of solar production is good for retail, office and industrial real estate users in South Carolina, regardless of whether the properties are owner-occupied or leased, as the tax benefits accruing to the owner of the equipment are clear. The persons or businesses paying the utility bill also receive the monthly benefit of reduced electricity bills by consuming the power they produce with their solar power system, the report adds.
“Solar investment in South Carolina has never been more affordable and practical than it is today,” states Fraser.
The report, titled “Solar in South Carolina: Great for Business,” is available here.