Solar news: December 28th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup (the last of the year!), the federal government extends the solar tax credit, and the Department of Energy announces a new round of funding for grid-integrated solar.

Solar tax credit extension signed into law

Last week, Congress passed an omnibus budget for the federal government and a COVID-19 relief bill; this week, President Trump signed the bill into law. Included somewhere in the over 5,000 pages of legislation was an important measure for the clean energy industry: an extension for the federal solar tax credit

Specifically, the legislation includes a two-year extension of the solar tax credit (ITC), plus funding for research and development into distributed energy deployment. There are no inclusions for energy storage in this bill. According to, “The solar ITC will remain at 26% for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022, step down to 22% in 2023, and down to 10% in 2024 for commercial projects. Residential credit ends completely. Companies beginning construction on projects in 2021 would still have a four-year period to place their projects in service to take advantage of the ITC, with the statutory deadline for projects placed in service reset to before Jan. 1, 2026.”

US Department of Energy announces $45 million in funding for solar projects

This month, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced they will set aside $45 million for developing technologies that will enable businesses to add “large quantities of solar” to the electric grid. The funding will go towards research in two key areas: hardware and systems integration.

Over half of the funding will be used for forming a consortium on developing technologies to enable utility-scale and smaller distributed solar systems to connect to the grid. Smaller chunks of money will be set aside for projects focused on collecting data from behind-the-meter solar panel systems.