Environment Washington has released a report calculating a 56% increase in solar pv installed in Washington State last year over the existing capacity. A 56% increase in capacity in one year is tremendous, and agrees with our experience and observations.
We are seeing a similar increase in 2015, and forecast that we will again see that increase over 2015 in 2016. A portion of this growth has been driven by the decrease in price of solar pv modules, and a portion of 2016’s growth will be due to the expiration of the Federal 30% tax credit.
To qualify for the 30% Federal Tax Credit on solar, a project must be complete by Dec 31, 2016. We are currently booking projects for Spring of 2016, and we forecast that our installation calendar for 2016 will be filled before the middle of next year. We are also still looking for another qualified licensed electrician to join our team and further increase our installation capacity.
For solar capacity to continue to grow at this rate in Washington after the conclusion of federal incentives, we need to increase our net metering capacity by updating our once progressive but now dated net metering law. Increasing our state’s required net metering capacity requires no expenditures on the part of the state or utilities, it merely enables individuals and business to invest their own money in upgrading their facilities with solar.