WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced the opening of applications for the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program. This program, supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, addresses the need to expand access to cost-saving clean energy projects in underserved communities through a groundbreaking tax incentive for solar and wind projects across the country. The historic program supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 commitments to equity and environmental justice and represents the most significant tax incentive in U.S. history to promote clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Tribal Land, and within affordable housing.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda includes historic incentives designed to drive clean energy investments to underserved communities. When combined with other incentives, wind and solar projects in low-income communities could receive as much as a 70% credit,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program will help community-based projects deliver direct benefits to families, making solar and wind energy more affordable and more accessible — revitalizing communities and exemplifying our whole-of-government effort to support low-income and Tribal communities in their energy transition efforts.”
Starting today, eligible applicants can participate in this groundbreaking program through the program’s new applicant portal. DOE is accepting applications for the initial application window over the next 30-days for the 2023 program year. After the initial 30-day application window closes, applications for 2023 will be considered on a rolling basis. Additional information about program capacity, eligibility and the allocation processes can be found in the IRS Final Regulations and Revenue Procedure 2023-27.
The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program provides a 10 or 20 percentage point credit increase to the investment tax credit for qualified solar or wind energy facilities that are less than five megawatts (AC). The program allows for up to 1.8 gigawatts of eligible solar and wind capacity to be allocated in credits each year. Treasury and the IRS established the program under section 48(e) to promote cost-saving clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Indian land, as part of affordable housing developments, and benefitting low-income households.
DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity is administering the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program on behalf of Treasury and IRS. The goals of the program are to increase access to clean energy in low-income communities, encourage new market participants, and benefit individuals and communities that have experienced adverse health or environmental effects or lacked economic opportunities. The program is designed to ensure undeserved communities can receive allocation capacity through specific eligibility criteria and to ease the application burden on communities through a user-friendly platform and various program resources.
Learn more about the IRS Initial Guidance Establishing Program to Allocate Environmental Justice Solar and Wind Capacity Limitation Under Section 48(e) and access important Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program resources on the DOE website. For program related questions and applicant portal assistance, please email EJBonusSupport@hq.doe.gov.