Senate Votes to Extend Job-creating 1603 Program

Senators Cantwell, Feinstein, Ensign and LeMieux lead effort to extend successful economic program

WASHINGTON, DC - Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement today on U.S. Senate passage of a one-year extension of the Department of Treasury Section 1603 program in their tax bill compromise:


"With bipartisan leadership from Senators Cantwell, Feinstein, Ensign and LeMieux, the Senate made clear today that it is serious about protecting American jobs. Since its passage, the 1603 program has successfully created jobs and opportunity in all 50 states for construction workers, electricians, plumbers, contractors that have struggled during this difficult economic climate. An extension will help the solar industry remain one of the fastest growing industries in America and create thousands of new careers. With passage now complete in the Senate, it is critical that the House moves swiftly to pass this bill and send to the President for his signature. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on it."

The program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Section 1603) to provide commercial solar installations with a cash grant in lieu of the 30 percent solar investment tax credit (ITC). President George W. Bush signed the 8-year ITC into law in 2008, but the economic conditions created by the global recession made it clear that few would be able to utilize the tax credit.

So far, the TGP has helped move forward more than 1,100 solar projects in 42 states and supported $18 billion in investment. The program has been critical in allowing the solar industry to grow by over 100 percent in 2010, create enough new solar capacity to power 200,000 homes and provide work to more than 93,000 Americans.

Background Materials
SEIA policy overview of Treasury Grant Program: http://seia.org/cs/federal_issues/treasury_grant_program
Fact sheet on TGP and job creation: http://www.seia.org/galleries/FactSheets/Factsheet_TGP.pdf
Summary of solar projects awarded a Treasury Grant: http://www.seia.org/galleries/pdf/TGP_Awards.pdf
EuPD Research "Economic Impact of the Extension of the TGP": http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/EuPD_Research_Solar_Report.pdf
The Solar Foundation National Solar Jobs Census 2010: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/sites/thesolarfoundation.org/files/Final%20TSF%20National%20Solar%20Jobs%20Census%202010%20Web%20Version.pdf

SEIA and GTM Research US Solar Market InsightTM Executive Summary: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/SEIA_Q2_2010_EXEC_SUMMARY.pdf

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org

SEIA President & CEO Rhone Resch is on Twitter. SEIA is on YouTube and Facebook.

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