Seems like a bad plot point in a dystopian novel, but it is somehow reality that 45 percent of Puerto Rico is still without electricity, a full three months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Sunnova, a large residential solar service provider in Puerto Rico, has been working alongside a number of suppliers, companies and organizations to push for policy solutions and aid measures in the upcoming disaster supplemental that would support the construction of a more resilient, reliable power system in Puerto Rico. Today, the company issued a statement, calling on Members of Congress to aid in power restoration efforts.
Sunnova believes that a viable policy solution would be to modify the existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) into a cash grant for disaster-hit U.S. territories. Their thinking is this would leverage the investment of private capital into a market that desperately needs it, while at the same time strengthening the island’s energy infrastructure and helping prepare it for the next inevitable storm.
“Sunnova supports including a provision in the disaster supplemental that would authorize a cash grant in lieu of the ITC for U.S. territories recovering from disasters,” said Sunnova Energy Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, William J. (John) Berger. “This would spur the development and construction of resilient, renewable energy options for businesses and residents in Puerto Rico and the USVI.”
The ITC grant solution includes the following provisions:
• The Investment Tax Credit would be replaced by a cash grant
• The cash grant option will be limited to U.S. territories recovering from disasters
• This provision will sunset in three years
• The costs shall be limited to cost per MW per Treasury guidance or cost paid to a third party to construct
• The paperwork shall be limited for grants under $20k
• The grant would be contingent on service date, not ‘placed in service’ date, due to difficulties connecting to the grid right now
— Solar Builder magazine