Kentucky Generation Partners Program—TVA (Residential/Commercial)
The Tennessee Valley Authority, along with affiliated utility companies, grants a power generation incentive for homeowners and commercial businesses that utilize renewable energy systems. Qualifying systems: biomass, small hydropower, solar panel, and wind turbines. The incentive amount is dependent upon the type of system. For solar systems, customers will receive a premium rate of $0.12/kWh.
New members in the program will receive a $1,000 bonus for joining, which can be put toward installation costs of a system. Reimbursement is represented in the form of credit on the participant’s monthly electric bill.
For net excess generation produced, energy distribution companies will issue payment based on their company’s pre-established rates.
Systems must be greater than 500 watts and no larger than 999 kilowatts to participate.
Net Metering Laws
Kentucky has strong net metering laws, which is a bonus for purchasers of renewable energy. Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to the public utility. Net metering allows customers to offset the cost of the power they pull from the utility with credits they have earned on their own production. If your system produces more energy than you need, the excess is sold to the grid, which you benefit from as a credit on your power bill.
Interconnection standards are requirements for connecting solar and other electrical generation systems to public power systems. Kentucky’s standards are quite strong, making it easier for the state’s utility companies to offer net metering.
Rebates and State Tax Credit
Kentucky offers two kinds of incentives here: A state solar tax credit and a state solar rebate. The former gets deducted from your state taxes. The rebate works as either a cash payment to you after you install a system, or a credit on the installer’s final bill. One good thing about getting the credit on the installer’s bill is the installer might handle the rebate paperwork.
Performance-Based Incentives (PBI)
Kentucky is one of many states that offer PBIs, which are incentives based on the actual, metered power your system generates. Kentucky calls them Power Performance Payments. You get paid based on kilowatt-hours (kWh) or BTUs generated by your renewal-energy system, as verified by the meter. The electricity produced is credited as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), the value of which fluctuates by the rule of supply and demand.
Federal Tax Credit
On top of these nice Kentucky incentives, of course you also qualify for a hefty tax credit from the Federal government. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is worth 26 percent of the system cost, and will be deducted from your Federal income tax. The credit goes to those who buy their system, by cash or loan. If you lease a system, incentives go to the third-party owner. A very good reason to buy or lease!