Kaine unveils proposals to spur ‘green job’ growth

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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Monday his proposal to spur the growth of “green jobs” in Virginia through a series of grants and tax credits

“Creating green jobs and a renewable energy sector of the Virginia economy is one way we can create opportunity from our current economic challenges,” Kaine said in a statement.  “With this package of bills, not only will we be able to create jobs for hardworking Virginians, but we will be taking proactive steps to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and improve our environment.”

Kaine’s proposals include:

- Expansion of an incentive grant for new and expanding businesses that produce clean energy sources and goods and equipment to improve energy efficiency. The size of the grants available would depend on a company’s economic return to the commonwealth. Kaine has included $2 million in his proposed budget to start the program.

- Change of financial support currently given to biofuel producers. The bill would provide a larger incentive — 10-cents-per-gallon — for biofuels that are produced from sources that are not used for food. The incentive will become 7.5 cents-per-gallon for biofuel sources that can also be used for food. The change also would reduce the production size requirement for companies to receive the incentive from 2 million gallons a year to 1 million gallons each year.

- An income tax credit for individuals and companies who install photovoltaic, solar thermal and small wind systems. Under the plan, corporations could receive up to $20,000 for solar photovoltaic, $10,000 for solar thermal and $15,000 for wind-powered electric generators. The total tax credits available for an individual or corporation would be $1 million.

- Sales tax exemption for solar photovoltaic, thermal systems and small wind systems.

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