California passes ‘much needed’ fix for solar project financing

California lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to extend a property tax exemption to solar projects that change ownership through the “partnership flip” financing structure.

SB 267 aligns California’s property tax system to support the mission of federal renewable energy tax credits, currently 26% for projects that begin construction in 2021 or 2022, according to the bill’s analysis.

Read more: Curtailments of solar electricity generation continue to increase in California

The bill “applies the exclusion equally to the solar energy system regardless of who owns it, applying equally to both homeowners who install solar energy systems as part of their homes, or for businesses who generate solar energy at larger scales for sale to investor-owned or municipal utilities,” the analysis reads.

Rick Umoff, senior director and counsel, California at the Solar Energy Industries Association, commended the California legislature for taking action and urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign the bill into law.

“Over the last few quarters California’s solar market has cooled off, which has caused the state to slip in the national rankings for solar in part due uncertainty around solar project investment,” Umoff said. “This much-needed fix will help to stabilize the California solar market and attract new solar and storage development to help meet our clean energy and reliability needs.”

American Clean Power Association, California Solar & Storage Association, Independent Energy Producers Association, Large-scale Solar Association, Solar Energy Industry Association, SunPower Corporation, and Vote Solar all supported the bill.

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World’s free, weekly newsletter for more stories like this