Mosier Creek Solar LLC took advantage of three solar-electric and hot water incentives available to businesses:
- Oregon state tax credit: 35% of system cost, no limit. (This has since been raised to 50%.)
- Federal solar investment tax credit: 30% of system cost, no limit.
- Equipment depreciation: 5-year accelerated.
In addition, the Energy Trust of Oregon kicked in $35,000 (the maximum, per project) through two incentives:
- $1 per watt of rated PV capacity.
- $0.40 per kilowatt-hour of electricity saved for hot water.
The Mosier Creek Homes formula for making PV financially appealing to both developer and buyer:
- Install PV and solar water heating systems on each unit.
- Set up a separate business to own the solar equipment.
- Use business tax incentives and other subsidies to cover as much as 70% of the cost.
- Price the homes at a premium, because of their renewable energy features.
- Sell the solar-generated electricity to the homeowners below retail rates, and let them sell any excess to the utility.
- Consider leasing or selling the equipment to the homeowners, which offers another potential source of profit for developers and investors.