The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), Washington, D.C., is pleased to recognize the U.S. Department of the Treasury's release of guidance documents for the federal cash grant program for solar electric projects. The program is expected to further strengthen U.S. electric utilities' ability to integrate solar electricity into the power grid in the near-term. These cash grants can be used in lieu of federal tax credits, which have become more difficult to monetize under current economic and market conditions. The program guidance, terms and conditions, and sample application documents will provide solar project developers, including electric utilities, with much needed guidance as they move forward in this uncertain business environment.

"In October 2008, the federal solar investment tax credit was extended to electric utilities — an important step in moving the electric utility industry towards a cleaner future," states Julia Hamm, SEPA's executive director. "The tax credits boosted utility interest in solar power, and the addition of the federal cash grant program will further assist electric utilities as they strive to meet their renewable portfolio standards and future power generation needs."

More information on the U.S. Treasury cash grant program, including the guidance documents, can be found online at the Treasury Web site.