January 30, 2020

Cortez Masto, Rosen Introduce Bill to Boost Investments in Nevada’s Booming Solar and Geothermal Industries

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced legislation to encourage the growth of Nevada’s renewable energy projects by extending and expanding renewable energy credits. The Solar and Geothermal Tax Credit Expansion Act would extend the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and residential renewable energy tax credit, as well as create tax parity for geothermal and other renewable energy technologies. The bill will support groundbreaking renewable energy projects and fuel deployment, jobs, innovation and carbon reduction.

“Nevada’s leadership in renewable energy fuels our economy, produces cutting-edge technology for the world and creates good-paying jobs for Nevadans,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “To remain at the forefront of clean energy innovation, I’m proud to support tax credits that encourage investments in solar and geothermal projects in Nevada. I’m committed to finding solutions that power our businesses and communities without polluting our planet.”

“Some of the highest geothermal and solar potential in the country is located within Nevada,” said Senator Rosen. “The Solar and Geothermal Tax Credit Expansion Act would help ensure geothermal and solar businesses in Nevada and across the country are able to innovate and create jobs, taking much-needed steps towards embracing a clean energy economy. This legislation is a common sense approach to fueling renewable energy deployment, jobs, innovation, and carbon reduction. I will continue to champion policies that bring Nevada closer to becoming a leader in clean energy.”

“Geothermal energy is emerging as the critical renewable resource that enables more solar, wind, and other renewable resources to be developed while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively,” said Paul Thomsen, Vice President of Ormat Technologies and Chairman of the Geothermal Resources Council Policy Committee. “We commend Senator Rosen’s and Senator Cortez Masto’s call for an extension of the ITC available to geothermal which recognizes its value and will provide the market signals that will unleash project development throughout the renewable sector.”

“Nearly 1,000 solar companies, big and small, are supporting an ITC extension because it continues to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, is driving innovation, and expanding solar access for Americans," said Alex McDonough, VP for Public Policy of Sunrun.? “The Silver State is awash in sunshine and has more than 6,600 solar jobs. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen are clean energy leaders and their support for extending the Investment Tax Credit will help put more Nevadans to work installing solar, while fueling the innovation of solar and batteries.”


Nevada is one of the leading producers of geothermal energy in the nation. But financing renewable energy projects presents challenges because they require significant upfront investment, as well as certainty that continued funding is available for subsequent projects. The ITC is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of renewable energy in the United States. Senator Cortez Masto has led on efforts to promote the growth of clean energy in Nevada by strengthening public-private partnerships and championing innovative tax credits for a variety of renewable energy technologies.

Specifically, the Solar and Geothermal Tax Credit Expansion Act encourages the deployment, growth and innovation of these growing technologies by:

  • Fully reinstating the maximum credit with a 5-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy property, fiber optic solar, fuel cells and small wind, retroactively delaying the incremental phase out that began in 2020.
  • Extending the credit for geothermal heat pumps, microturbines and combined heat and power systems for an additional 5 years from their current expiration date of January 1, 2022 and enhancing the credit to the full 30% rate.
  • Expanding the ITC for geothermal to the full 30% rate for 5 years, providing for equal tax treatment to other renewable technologies like solar.

Full text of the bill is available here.