SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) may see a solar boost in Rhode Island. The Ocean State passed new energy laws late last week that would expand tax exemptions and other incentives so that residents and homeowners embrace alternative energy. This would greatly benefit SolarCity and other green energy firms.
SolarCity Corp Gains From Rhode Island Laws
SolarCity is planning to expand in Rhode Island after new laws could benefit the solar company.
Rhode Island Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo signed several new renewable energy measures into law last week. The legislation expands property tax exemptions, clarifies tax rules, offers a community solar program and provides an array of other incentives.
The purpose behind the legislation is to follow the path of other New England states by expanding net metering and allowing green energy businesses to lease solar arrays to homeowners and businesses.
It would also require the National Grid and other electric suppliers to boost their purchases of renewable energy each year.
Overall, these add-ons will help homeowners and businesses incorporate solar power into their energy use, which can be very difficult because they don’t have $20,000 on hand to pay for such power.
“This legislation reflects forward-thinking energy policies that will help us meet our state energy goals,” said Raimondo. “With its passage, we can continue to create jobs, connect Rhode Islanders with more cost-effective energy options and reduce our carbon footprint.”
Due to these changes, SolarCity is now planning to ramp up its presence in Rhode Island. The law could help SolarCity hire more salespeople, installers and technicians and expand its operations center from 75 to 200 staff members.
The governor said at a news conference that SolarCity CEO Lyndron Rive told her in May that the state’s energy bills were very important to address if the company was going to expand into Rhode Island. As soon as the laws passed in the state legislature, she called Rive up, according to Raimondo.
“Hey, we’ve held up our end of the bargain. We’ve made some changes. Are you going to hold up your end of the bargain? He said, ‘I will commit to you to start a rapid ramp-up of our business in Rhode Island.'”
SolarCity Corp Receives Some Good News
This is good news for SolarCity, which has been in hot water since Elon Musk announced that it was merging the solar firm with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Investors and analysts have been rather skeptical about the merger.
SolarCity has also been financially struggling as it attempts to rejuvenate its business model. For years, it has relied on financing home solar systems as its main source of revenue. It had to change it to vertically integrating as homeowners wanted their own solar panels.
The solar firm has also been part of controversy over the Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York. The construction has received payment delays, federal investigations and staunch criticisms over the reduction in manpower estimates.
With Rhode Island embracing green energy, and potentially Nevada reversing its January net metering changes, SolarCity could be in for some positive changes in the second half of 2016.