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by Emma Foehringer Merchant
May 06, 2019

We’re now well into 2019. As U.S. solar developers dig out from the tariff anxiety that edged into 2018 and look toward the future, they’re already confronting another big challenge: the declining federal Investment Tax Credit.

“The industry has, in my eyes, moved past the tariffs,” said Colin Smith, a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “Now the big strategy question will be the ITC stepdown.”

This year is the last for the investment tax credit’s full 30 percent value, which helps a solar project’s financials, before it declines to 26 percent in 2020 and down to 10 percent beyond 2022.

In recent months, uncertainty about how to confront the tax credit changes has started to give way to developer strategy. In this week’s column I’m digging into that dynamic plus other themes and questions — like the rush on state-level policy and corporate and industrial (C&I) procurement — currently occupying utility-scale solar.