Florida-Based QuickBeam Energy Seeing Commercial Solar Demand Strengthen with Municipal Utility Program

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Gainesville Regional Utilities announced the organization's offer of the nation's first solar photovoltaic (PV) electric feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. Participants will invest in their own PV systems to generate electricity and sell it directly to the utility under a contract for 20 years at a rate of 32 cents per kilowatt hour. "With solar energy system advancements, and building owner's quest to lower energy costs and raise their building's values, we believe additional electric utilities throughout Florida will employ similar incentive programs," commented Max Wilson, Chief Engineer of Winter Haven, Florida-based commercial PV solar system designer QuickBeam Energy.

Gainesville Regional Utilities announced the organization's offer of the nation's first solar photovoltaic (PV) electric feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. Participants will invest in their own PV systems to generate electricity and sell it directly to the utility under a contract for 20 years at a rate of 32 cents per kilowatt hour.

"With solar energy system advancements, and building owner's quest to lower energy costs and raise their building's values, we believe additional electric utilities throughout Florida will employ similar incentive programs," commented Max Wilson, Chief Engineer of Winter Haven, Florida-based commercial PV solar system designer QuickBeam Energy (http://www.QuickBeamEnergy.com).

Additionally, with recent legislation extending federal tax credits to businesses utilizing PV solar energy installations, QuickBeam Energy is experiencing continued market growth.

On October 3, 2008, the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which was included under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 designed to address the U.S. financial crisis, extended tax credits through 2016. It is the most significant federal policy ever enacted for the solar industry.

"This landmark legislation creates a viable commercial PV solar energy market in Florida," noted Wilson. "With these tax incentives, along with increased current and future electricity rate projections, a PV solar power installation will pay for itself within 6-8 years, providing monthly energy cost savings to building owners and businesses. A building's value is also significantly enhanced with the installation of renewable solar energy."

"Our installation partners, including electrical contractors and architectural engineering firms, are seeing vigorous demand for PV solar power throughout Florida," stated Wilson.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy is expected to be the least expensive source of electricity by 2016. The solar investment tax credit provisions will:

  • Extend for 8 years the 30-percent tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations;
  • Eliminate the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30-percent tax credit (effective for property placed in service after December 31, 2008);
  • Eliminate the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit;
  • Allow Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers, both businesses and individuals, to take the credit;
  • Authorize $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar.

For information on QuickBeam Energy's services, call (863) 401-2725 or visit http://www.QuickBeamEnergy.com.

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TIM NISSEN
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