To accelerate the development of larger renewable energy projects, the Department of Energy and the Treasury are introducing a program to provide direct payments in lieu of tax credits.
Most large renewable energy projects, including some at commercial applications such as factories and company headquarters, have been eligible for federal tax credits.
The economic downturn, however, has withered away the up-front third-party financing that is normally needed to get such projects going, thus making it difficult for companies to take advantage of tax credits.
The newly announced process for receiving direct payments applies to renewable energy projects created or put in service after Jan. 1, 2009.
Treasury has $3 billion set aside for such payments, which it estimates will suffice for about 5,000 facilities using solar, wind, biomass and other forms of renewable energy.
While the agency is not yet accepting applications for the direct payments, it is providing this link for terms and conditions, as well as a sample application.