Commercial Incentives



Federal Tax Incentive:

In an effort to help people embrace renewable energy, the Federal government is offering a 30% tax incentive on the full cost of installing a solar PV system through 2019, including:

  • Solar PV panels, inverters, and sales and use taxes on the equipment
  • Installation costs and racking for both roof and ground mounting
  • Step-up transformers, circuit breakers, and surge arrestors, panel upgrades
  • Energy storage devices, power conditioning equipment, and transfer equipment

If the full amount of this credit is not used within the tax year it is earned, it can be carried forward for up to 20 years, and carried back for 1 year. This federal tax credit is scheduled to be reduced in 2020 to 26% and 2021 to 22% and expires in 2022.

Commercial tax credit form:

State Tax Incentive:

The Commercial Tax Credit is calculated as 10% of the eligible system cost or $50,000, whichever is less. The Commercial Tax Credit can only be claimed by business, corporation, or LLC entities.

This incentive can be applied for at:

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System, or MACRS:

Because depreciation is considered an expense, having a larger amount to depreciate during the tax year results in a smaller overall tax liability. When the commercial ITC is claimed, accelerated depreciation rules allow 85% of the tax basis to be depreciated over a 5-year period (where any unused depreciation can be carried back 2 years and forward 20 years)

BONUS DEPRECIATION CALCULATION on a $1,000,000 project: Since the business is claiming the ITC, its depreciable basis for the system is 85% of the tax basis: 0.85 ∗ $1,000,000 = $850,000. If your tax rate was 35%, then your tax benefit would be $297,500. The Bonus Depreciation allows for 50% of this total to be used in the 1st year, plus the regular depreciation of 20% of the remaining balance.

Additional Grants:

Additional Federal Grants are available in some areas that pay a 25% cash incentive on the total cost of installing solar. Contact us to see if your business is in a qualified area.



Governed by RCW 82.16.165, a Production Incentive is paid per kilowatt hour (kWh) to those who install solar based upon the size of the solar system, date of certification/installation and whether or not the solar modules are Made in WA.

Fiscal Year EndsBase Rate: ResidentialBase Rate: CommercialBonus for Modules made in WA

Solar systems of 1 kW through 12 kW are classified as "residential" regardless of the type of facility where they are installed. Solar systems larger than 12 kW are classified as "commercial" unless they are installed as a Community Solar Project.

Participating utilities read the newly added Production Meter and report readings to solar customers. Production Incentive payments are made annually following the June 30 state fiscal year-end. Payments last for 8 years or until payments add up to 50% of the total system cost including sales tax, whichever occurs first.

Systems installed after 6/30/2021 do not receive a WA State Production Incentive.
Further, there exist upper caps (limits) - per utility - on the total dollar amount that can be paid out for Production Incentives. The WSU Energy Office website shows these caps as well as progress toward reaching the caps. Additionally, there exists an overall cap on the total amount of money available for this Incentive Program.

The Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program, which is the administrator for this incentive program, is accepting the following types of applications:

  • Incentive Application for Residential-scale or Commercial-scale renewable energy systems
  • Precertification Application for Shared Commercial Solar or Community Solar Projects

Applicants will use this online account to:

  • Create and submit a new incentive application
  • Check the status of their application as the review process gets underway.


The Solar Investment Tax Credit ("ITC") is a federal tax credit for solar systems placed on residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under Section 48) properties. In December 2015, Congress acted to extend the 30% tax credit through 2019 with a step down in subsequent years: to 26% in 2020, to 22% in 2021, and thereafter it is 0 (zero) for homeowners and 10% for businesses. Link to SEIA's website with a breakdown on the ITC.



Oregon Energy Trust Incentives for PGE and Pacific Power

Energy Trust offers cash incentives that reduce the upfront cost of solar installations. The incentive amount depends on the size of your system and your electric utility.

Incentive, RequirementRequirement
Portland General Electric$60,000 max0-14 kW: $0.60/watt
15-150 kW: $0.60-$0.30/watt*
Project size cap: 400 kW
Pacific Power$40,000 max0-10 kW: $0.50/watt
11-100 kW: $0.50-$0.20/watt**
Project size cap: 250 kW

*The maximum incentive per project for PGE non-residential customers is $60,000 (at 200 kW). Projects with a total system size greater than 400 kW are not eligible for incentives.

**The maximum incentive per project for Pacific Power non-residential customers is $40,000 (at 200 kW). Projects with a total system size greater than 250 kW are not eligible for incentives.


Incentives are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our 2018 budget is $150,000, and we will periodically review remaining funds. Incentive levels are subject to change and may end at any time.

Update (Jan. 29): We have allocated 35 percent of the 2018 incentive budget.

Commercial net metered
$0.50/AC output watt