Yesterday, the U.S. Senate broke a longstanding partisan stalemate and passed – by a vote of 93 to 2 – amendments to the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 that will extend the solar investment tax credit (ITC) by eight years.
‘Solar energy is a guaranteed way to provide the stability we need in our economy right now,’ said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. ‘I applaud the Senate for reaching a bipartisan consensus to extend the solar tax credits, which are critical to the growth of the solar market in the U.S.’
Beyond extending the ITC, the Senate's vote also paved the way for other significant changes. In particular, the legislation eliminates the $2,000 cap for residential systems and provides an allowance for utilities to use the commercial credit.
Reports indicate that the U.S. House of Representatives could address and vote on the bill sometime today. Senate leadership – particularly Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. – has voiced support for swift passage of an unaltered Senate bill in the House, which would poise the legislation for the president's signature.