"Solar is big in Bakersfield, with more than $120 million invested in the city in the first half of 2015 alone."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) joined with the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) in praising the Bakersfield City Council for tonight's swift passage of a resolution urging Congress to take immediate action to extend the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).
"Solar is big in Bakersfield, with more than $120 million invested in the city in the first half of 2015 alone. Tonight, we saw an unprecedented display of solar leadership at the local level. It's clear the Bakersfield City Council understands how vital solar and the ITC are to their city, their state and to America as a whole," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "Without the ITC, research shows the jobs of more than 100,000 Americans - nearly 34,000 in California alone - are at risk. More cities should follow Bakersfield's lead, sending a message to Congress that the American public deserves energy independence and the well-paying jobs that solar produces."
A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts substantially more solar generating capacity will get built in the United States, and a major industry downturn will be avoided, if the ITC is extended at its current level.
The ITC is a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems on residential (Section 25D) and commercial (Section 48) properties that, under current law, remains in effect through Dec. 31, 2016. After that, unless Congress takes action, the commercial credit will drop to 10 percent and the residential credit will expire fully.
"Solar is a bright spot in California's economy, including the Central Valley. In fact, Bakersfield, known for its oil and natural gas production, has twice as many solar installations as San Francisco, showing that solar power is popular across all political lines," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA, which worked with the Bakersfield City Council to pass tonight's resolution. "We applaud the Bakersfield City Council's leadership and urge the Central Valley's congressional delegation to prioritize extending the solar tax credit now."
Today, there are more than 2,200 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in California, employing nearly 55,000 people, representing manufacturers, contractors, project developers, distributors and installers.
Since 2010, nearly $413 million has been invested on solar installations in Bakersfield, helping the city earn its ranking of second in the state in net-metered solar installs.
There is now enough solar energy installed in California to power 2,891,000 homes.