Idaho has enacted legislation exempting commercial solar PV generators from property taxation and amending current property tax exemptions for wind and geothermal power producers. Property is exempt if it is: (1) owned, controlled, operated, or managed by an electrical or natural gas association or producer of electricity by means of wind, solar, or geothermal (excluding PUC-regulated entities); (2) held or used in connection with or to facilitate the generation, transmission, distribution, delivery, or measuring of electric power, natural gas or electrical energy generated from wind, solar, or geothermal; and (3) subject to taxation as described below.
HB 534 also creates a production tax on commercial solar energy, and amends the existing production tax on commercial wind and geothermal electrical production. The new law takes effect July 1, 2016.
In August 2015, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission reduced from 20 years to two years the length of negotiated PURPA contracts for the state’s three major utilities. The PUC concluded that 20-year contracts had resulted in electric customers paying unreasonable costs for renewable generation.