Did You Know...

   

A few things you should know about Obama's favorite Colorado solar panel maker

Share
By Michelle Malkin  •  February 18, 2009 05:03 AM

At the invitation-only porkulus signing in Denver yesterday, President Obama exalted Namaste Solar, a Boulder-based company that made the solar panels adorning the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. The CEO of Namaste, Blake Jones, extolled his savior:

Blake Jones, CEO of Boulder-based Namaste Solar, said his company’s future is already looking brighter with the signing of the bill. Jones, who led Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on a tour of solar panels his company installed on the museum’s roof, said he had been considering laying off some of his 55 employees. Now, he’s looking to expand his work force by 40 percent by 2010, he said.

“We’re just one small business, creating one to two dozen jobs,” Jones said. “The point that I want to stress is that there are thousands of businesses just like ours that will be doing the same thing.”

Well, the little point I want to stress is that Namaste has already benefited from generous government largesse to prop up his business.

Namaste’s own website lays it out:

OVERVIEW:

On both National and State levels, there are programs in place to help “level the economic playing field” between green, renewable energy sources (like solar electricity) and polluting, finite energy sources (such as fossil fuels and nuclear energy). The latter already receive billions of dollars annually in subsidies and incentives, so we’re extremely pleased that renewable energy technologies are now receiving government assistance as well.

GEO solar rebates now available for customers in Fort Collins, Longmont, United Power, Poudre Valley, Estes Park and other territories! Click here for more information.

Residential Systems (smaller than 10.0kW):

* 40-50% utility rebate ($3.50 per DC watt) for Xcel customers
* 30-40% utility rebate ($3.00 per DC watt) for Fort Collins, Longmont, United Power, Poudre Valley and Estes Park customers
* 30% federal income tax credit
* 15% rebate of City sales and use tax for projects within Boulder City limits

SUMMARY OF INCENTIVES IN COLORADO:

Residential Systems (smaller than 10.0kW):

* 40-50% utility rebate ($3.50 per DC watt) for Xcel customers
* 30% federal income tax credit
* 15% rebate of City sales and use tax for projects within Boulder City limits

Small Commercial Systems (smaller than 10.0kW):

* 40-50% utility rebate ($3.50 per DC watt) for Xcel customers
* 30% federal income tax credit
* 5-year MACRS accelerated depreciation schedule
* 15% rebate of City sales and use tax for projects within Boulder City limits

Large Commercial Systems (larger than 10.0kW):

* 25-30% utility rebate ($2.00 per DC watt) for Xcel customers
* 20-year utility payments for system’s “REC” production for Xcel customers
* 30% federal income tax credit
* 5-year MACRS accelerated depreciation schedule
* 15% rebate of City sales and use tax for projects within Boulder City limits

The Bottom Line
In practical terms, state and federal incentive programs can reduce your total “out-of-pocket” costs for a solar electric (PV) system by as much as 60-70%!!!

…THE EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008:

On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 into law. The new energy bill extends extends the 30-percent federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations for 8 years (2009-2016). The legislation improves upon the previous investment tax credits by removing the $2,000 cap for residential solar PV systems and allowing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers to take the tax credits.

…COLORADO’S AMENDMENT 37 AND HOUSE BILL 1281:

In November of 2004, Colorado voters passed Amendment 37 (A37), mandating that a certain percentage of Colorado’s electricity come from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The rules were finalized and Xcel began paying out rebates in the Spring of 2006. House Bill 1281 (HB1281) was signed into law by Governor Bill Ritter in early 2007 and effectively doubles the original goals of A37 to 20% by 2020. The incentive is divided into a $2.00 per watt rebate and a $1.50 per watt Renewable Energy Credit payment (REC). Because a typical flush-mount roof array costs about $8 to $9 a watt, the combination of rebate and REC from Xcel, along with the federal tax credit, means that your final out-of-pocket cost can be reduced by about 40% to 50%. This assumes that your system can be installed such that it produces at least 90% of what an optimally positioned array in a shade-free area would produce. If your installed system is predicted to produce less than 90% of optimum, then the REC portion of the Xcel incentive (which is production-based) is reduced accordingly.

…CITY OF BOULDER REBATES & INCENTIVES:

Solar energy systems installed within Boulder city limits are currently eligible for a tax rebate. Boulder City Council approved an ordinance in November 2006 to provide rebates for a portion of sales and use tax on both solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar thermal (hot water) systems. The ordinance was passed to encourage residents and businesses to install renewable energy systems in the city of Boulder. The end effect is a 15% rebate on the Boulder City sales and use taxes paid on a solar PV system.

All that and Namaste can barely keep its 55 workers onboard. Instead of having to rethink business practices such as these

Outsiders were baffled by some of these company plans:

• Environmental concerns would be a driving force in every aspect of the company.
• Six weeks of paid time off.
• Employees, no matter what their job description, have the same pay scale.
• One percent of yearly revenues goes to solar systems donated to community groups.
• All major decisions would be made by consensus of all company employees.

…the porkulus package will shovel even more taxpayer subsidies their way.

Question: If existing solar and wind energy companies can’t make it with the present level of government aid, why should we pretend that throwing more money at them will guarantee success? The new funding will result in the same market distortions that were induced by the bipartisan-supported ethanol subsidies (which I also opposed).

Kermit the Frog said it wasn’t easy being green. In the Age of Obama, it’s your pipeline to porkulus funding.

***

Related question: Hey, President Obama, did you turn the White House thermostat down before you jetted off to the West Coast to play the eco-card?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted in: fiscal stimulus

House Republicans make counter offer to Obama's fiscal cliff non-starter

December 3, 2012 07:36 PM by Doug Powers

Return volley

Obama’s Layoff Bomb

October 31, 2012 09:56 AM by Michelle Malkin

Update: Bankrupt green crony A123 gets a last-minute lifeline

October 17, 2012 10:01 AM by Michelle Malkin


Categories: Enviro-nitwits, fiscal stimulus, Politics