Call for extending investment tax credit in solar energy development

The potential expiration of the 30 percent investment tax credit for solar energy has been identified as the biggest hurdle in the development of large-scale energy projects in the US.

According to, US. Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Tempe) is lobbying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to include a renewal of  alternative energy investment tax credits in a new economic stimulus package. In a recent letter sent to Pelosi , Mitchell stated, "I believe we have a real opportunity to brighten our future by investing in solar energy. In Arizona, we're lucky to enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Investing in solar energy is vital to Arizona's economy."

Specifically, Mitchell addressed the need for the tax credits, set to expire at the end of the year, to proceed with the proposed Solana solar power generating station, a $1 billion project to be constructed near Gila Bend.

Meanwhile, Abengoa Solar has indicated that it may suspend its plans to build a concentrating solar-thermal plant and a mirror manufacturing plant in the US in case the federal government doesn't extend a package of investment tax credits for eight years.

According to local media, the House has already passed extensions of tax credits for renewable energy production and development, but so far none of the bills have been taken up by the Senate.