Tax credit: How much "mounting hardware" does it cover?

aj164 Solar Expert Posts: 122 ✭✭✭
I have a customer that wants to know if the Federal tax credit applies to the sub-structure he intends to build to support the modules. In this case, he wants to make a carport-like structure -- for two reasons: 1) elevate modules above the shade of the trees, and 2) use the storage space underneath for vehicles or equipment.

The question is at what point is the mounting structure no longer part of the solar installation? Clearly, you can't build a house with solar on the roof and claim 30% of the cost of the home... However, ground-mount systems do require a lot of extra hardware (ground prep, concrete, steel), all of which is an integral part of the solar. What this customer is proposing you might say is a monster, dual-purpose "ground mount".


  • VolcanoSolar
    VolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: Tax credit: How much "mounting hardware" does it cover?

    Only the part that would be strictly for the solar would be allowed, such as the usual racks and clips and so on. In other words, if the structure had no other purpose, then maybe. But since it's going to be used as a carport and for storage, no. I'm no tax expert but this is my best guess on how they'd interpret it. The difference with a ground-mount system is that it's 100% for the solar, nothing else. Generally the IRS takes the strictest possible interpretation on these kinds of things.
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tax credit: How much "mounting hardware" does it cover?

    All depends on how daring you wish to be. I have always figured it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission! The IRS might be the exception however.