The renewable energy industries operate in a regulatory environment that is struggling to catch up with new industry developments as well as incentives, tax breaks, and exemptions that constantly change. In addition to keeping up with the changing regulatory environment, businesses in these industries must keep in close contact with the appropriate authorities.
Biodiesel: Biodiesel is often subject to motor fuel tax and sales taxes on the state level. Many states offer tax credits that renewable energy companies must apply for. Some state departments of agriculture require a special permit for commercial feed product sales. New York state currently has a task force underway to establish a biofuel/biodiesel permit.
Solar: Solar installations on residential and commercial properties may require a contractor license or electrical contractor license in addition to building permits, though solar installers are often exempt from permit fees. Some states require certification of the hardware prior to installation. In Florida, systems must be certified and approved by the Florida Solar Energy Center and be capable of producing at least 1,000 kWh per kW DC each year.
Wind: Large offshore wind farms as well as smaller wind parks are subject to a number of different permits and licenses. Many states and local agencies are required to assess environmental impacts of proposed actions on the environment. For example, in California wind farm developers are required to consult with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to ensure that a proposed project will meet the intent of Fish and Game Code statutes for protection of wildlife species, including California’s Fully Protected Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act.
CT Corporation can assist with the burden of complying with renewable energy regulations and the permits required to earn tax credits and deductions. Even if you are sales tax exempt or have other exemptions that apply to your business, you may still need to register and file for a business license with the appropriate authorities.