U.S. Representatives introduce bill to protect solar jobs through the ITC

By Kelsey Misbrener

In November, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Solar Jobs Preservation Act with Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) to protect jobs in the solar industry by strengthening the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Since the ITC was created in 2006, it has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in investment. However, the tax credit ​has become more difficult to use ​due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also facing ​a phase down. The bill is also cosponsored by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Paul Cook (R-CA).

“As we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating effects on our economy, we cannot forget about the climate crisis and the need to preserve clean energy jobs that help us protect our planet,” said Rep. Levin. “The solar industry plays a critical role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and driving economic growth, which is why we must support them during this pandemic and extend the investment tax credit. I appreciate Congressman Schwekiert’s partnership on this important legislation, and look forward to working with the rest of my colleagues in the House to pass this bill.”

“As our economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is incredibly important for Congress to be focused on creating jobs and helping our industries recover,” said Rep. Schweikert. “I am pleased to join the Solar Jobs Preservation Act to strengthen the solar investment tax credit to incentivize growth, opportunity, and clean energy in Arizona and across the country.”

Twelve solar installation companies wrote a letter voicing their support for the Solar Jobs Preservation Act.

“This bipartisan legislation would help address key issues facing the solar industry as a result of the COVID crisis, and support hardworking men and women deploying clean solar energy across the country,” said Erin Duncan, VP of Congressional Affairs for SEIA. “Solar has broad appeal across the political spectrum, and we appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Levin, Schweikert, Cook, and Tonko to craft this legislation. In the long run, a measure like this can help address climate change as well as deploy much needed energy infrastructure. Enacting these pro-solar measures would go a long way toward jumpstarting clean energy projects and easing some of the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

The Solar Jobs Preservation Act makes the ITC temporarily refundable for projects that break ground by the end of 2021, and extends the phase down of the ITC schedule by one year. The bill would make the ITC refundable for projects that begin construction over the next 14 months so projects are able to utilize the ITC despite financing challenges created by the pandemic.

The legislation is supported by the Solar Energy Industries Association, League of Conservation Voters, and California League of Conservation Voters.

Click here for legislative text of the Solar Jobs Preservation Act.


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