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The government is releasing $3 billion in government grants for businesses engaging in clean, renewable energy projects. The announcement, made last week, specifies that the grants will be direct payments in lieu of tax credits and will support 5,000 biomass, solar, wind and other renewable energy production facilities.
The green business grants will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), which aims to save and create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, and has a special focus on sprucing up the green sector to eventually double domestic renewable energy capacity. A total of $150 billion of the Recovery Act has been set aside for new infrastructure projects, including transportation, mass transit, roads, and bridges.
The Recovery Act charges the Treasury with making direct payments to companies that create and put in service renewable energy facilities beginning January 1st 2009. The Act differs from previous green funding initiatives in its transition from awarding tax credits to providing direct cash payments to qualifying companies. Thus, companies now have to agree to forgo future tax credits and go with the green-for-clean approach. Though the previous iteration of the plan involving tax credits achieved notable success from the business sector, considering that many companies have downsized and are strapped for start-up and expansion cash, the government altered the focus to green business grants in order to provide a more-liquid benefit to businesses to support their renewable energy projects.
Successful candidates can expect checks deposited to company accounts within 60 days of approval.
Ready to apply? Go for it, the White House is waiting.