A partnership between SunPower and Hannon Armstrong, will enable the American module maker to safe harbour 200 MW of PV panel capacity to continue to claim 30% federal ITC for US projects. (Photo Credit: SunPower Corp.)
- To claim 30% federal ITC for its solar projects that enter construction beyond 2019, SunPower has signed up for a JV with Hannon Armstrong
- The JV will initially deploy 200 MW of commercial and residential systems to safe harbour this capacity
- These projects will come online through mid-2022 and the partnership may increase the volume in later years
American solar module manufacturer SunPower Corp., will acquire and deploy 200 MW of safe harboured panels in a joint venture with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. This step helps these companies preserve 30% value for third party owned commercial and residential systems under the US federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and meet safe harbour guidelines.
Under the current rules, the ITC of 30% is available to solar projects that start construction within calendar year 2019. Post that the credit declines to 26% in 2020 and 21% in 2021. Later, residential projects will no longer be eligible for any credit by 2022 onward, and commercial projects can claim only 10% credit.
However, there’s an option under which a company can safe harbour the project to claim 30% credit on a project even if enters construction beyond 2019. That’s what SunPower and Hannon have done.
Their projects that enter into service between now and through mid-2022 will get 30% ITC value. Beyond the 200 MW partnership, the two companies expect to increase the volume in later years.
SunPower CEO Tom Werner called the safe harbour facility ‘flexible and highly capital efficient’. “We are pleased to broaden our offering to enable SunPower to realize additional value and flexibility in the near-term pipeline,” said Jeffrey W. Eckel, Hannon Armstrong chairman and CEO. “As the market need evolves, this latest transaction expands our multi-year programmatic investments with SunPower, supporting our shared mission for a decarbonized future.”
Both the companies entered into a joint venture previously in November 2018 to set up HA SunStrong Capital LLC to acquire, finance and maintain a portfolio of solar power systems for residential rooftops or ground-mounted on property of host customers.
SunPower has been concentrating on strengthening its distributed generation and manufacturing ever since it announced its departure from the utility-scale development business in May 2018 (see SunPower To Focus On Distributed Solar).