About two years ago the City of Ypsilanti partnered with Chart House Energy and SolarYpsi to enter the Department of Energy Solar in Your Community Challenge. While not winning any money from the challenge, Ypsilanti was recognized as a low-income solar empowerment zone.
Starting with 170 teams nationwide, 5 teams were awarded money and 12 teams, including Ypsilanti, were acknowledged for their efforts.
Low-Income Empowerment: Helping Communities Most in Need
Solar Pioneers (Brooklyn, NY) –
This team increased local education and improved customer acquisition
in two low-income communities, creating a training curriculum and
empowering youth with the knowledge to be community ambassadors for
solar. They installed 307 kW of solar.
Solar Destination Ypsilanti (Ypsilanti, MI)
– This team deployed over 600 kW of solar, with 44% of it benefiting
LMI, and plans to install almost 3 MW by late 2019 in an area where
median household income is well below the U.S. average. Local residents
were trained to perform solar installation and worked on projects.
This another great example of Ypsilanti on the national map for their efforts to become a Solar Destination. The city and local community has been tremendous in their support for solar power and the number of installations continues to grow. With over 55 watts per capita putting us in the top 20 in the nation for solar power.
SolarYpsi would like to thank Chart House Energy for their support and helping to make this project successful. We also continues to seek funds to grow solar power even faster and bring it to the residents that need it the most. Let us know if you have any ideas.
Last year when congress passed the new tax credit, burred inside there was a tax incentive that can be applied to solar projects. This new tax incentive is complicated, but could add an additional 15% savings to the already 30% saving from the Federal Renewable Energy tax credit. Combined that about HALF OFF a solar installation in the “Opportunity Zone”. Last March 17th Rob Rafon and myself gave a talk about solar power and the tax credits. You can see a recording here. https://www.facebook.com/ypsi.live/videos/631640583960014
A temporary tax deferral for
capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The deferred gain must
be recognized on the earlier of the date on which the opportunity zone
investment is sold or December 31, 2026.
A step-up in basis for
capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The basis of the
original investment is increased by 10% if the investment in the
qualified opportunity zone fund is held by the taxpayer for at least 5
years, and by an additional 5% if held for at least 7 years, excluding
up to 15% of the original gain from taxation.
A permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains
from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified opportunity
zone fund, if the investment is held for at least 10 years. (Note: this
exclusion applies to the gains accrued from an investment in an
Opportunity Fund, not the original gains).
If you’re in the Opportunity Zone and want to install solar on your home, call a solar contractor today and see how they can help monetize these tax credits and lower the cost of solar.
Saturday was a beautiful day and we had about a dozen volunteers show up for the Ypsi Fire Station solar installation. It was done in about seven hours! Thanks to the Ypsi Fire Department and DPW for moving the material to the roof. We had volunteers from Ypsi, Ann Arbor, and St.Louis. They ranged in age from 20 to 70 years old. Their skills varied from novice to profession solar installers. Having all the material on the roof made the job go fast. Everyone had fun and seem to enjoy themselves. As the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work”. It was like an Amish barn raising for solar power. We now have 50kW on our local Fire Station. The solar contractor, John Wakemen, is wiring it up this week and we hope to have it wrapped up in a few weeks. Pictures posted at SolarYpsi and many volunteers posted more on FaceBook.