Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Abatement

Program Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Abatement
Category Financial Incentive
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Nevada
Administrator Nevada State Office of Energy
Website http://energy.nv.gov/Programs/Renewable_Energy_Tax_Abatements/
Start Date
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics

New or expanded businesses in Nevada may apply to the Director of the State Office of Energy for a sales and use tax abatement for qualifying renewable energy technologies. The purchaser is only required to pay sales and use taxes imposed in Nevada at the rate of 2.6%. The abatement is valid for three years beginning with the approval of the application.

The abatement applies to property used to generate electricity from renewable energy resources including solar, wind, biomass*, fuel cells, geothermal or hydro. Generation facilities must have a capacity of at least 10 megawatts (MW). Facilities that use solar energy to generate at least 25,840,000 British thermal units of process heat per hour can also qualify for an abatement.

There are several job creation and job quality requirements that must be met in order for a project to receive an abatement. Depending on the population of the county or city where the project will be located, the project owners must:

  • Employ a certain number of full-time employees during construction, a percentage of whom must be Nevada residents
  • Ensure that the hourly wage paid to the facility's employees and construction workers is a certain percentage higher than the average statewide hourly wage
  • Make a capital investment of a specified amount in the state of Nevada
  • Provide the construction workers with health insurance, which includes coverage for the worker's dependents

AB 239 (2013) provided additional criteria for considering projects eligible. Note that this exemption does not apply to residential property, or property that is owned, operated, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.


History
This abatement went through significant revisions with AB 522, signed in May 2009. Notably, AB 522 raised the capacity minimum for eligible projects from 10 kilowatts (kW) to 10 MW. It also changed the abatement such that the purchaser is only required to pay sales and use taxes imposed in Nevada at the rate of 2.6 % (effective through June 30, 2011) and at the rate of 2.25 % (effective July 01, 2011 - June 30, 2049), extended it to additional technologies, and increased the qualification requirements to ensure that incentivized projects result in more high quality jobs. These changes took effect on July 1, 2009. AB 522 also created a property tax abatement for renewable energy producers. In 2013, SB 475, a broad tax extender bill, extended the 2.6% tax rate through 2015, and in 2015, SB 483 extended the 2.6% rate indefinitely.

*Biomass is defined as any organic matter that is available on a renewable basis, including, without limitation, agricultural crops and agricultural wastes and residues; wood and wood wastes and residues; animal wastes; municipal wastes; and aquatic plants.

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