Solar Installation Battery Add-On

Posted by Lee Reams Sr., BSME, EA on

Emergency power outages imposed by utilities in high fire prone areas during periods of high winds and low humidity as well as other disaster areas can be a major inconvenience especially for those that work from home. The answer may be a solar charged battery.  

Homeowners who already have a solar installation can add a storage battery and qualify for the solar credit for the cost of the battery. Those who do not already have a solar system may want to consider the cost of installing a solar system with a battery. Although not specifically mentioned in the code or regulations it was the subject of a letter ruling. 

A battery attached to solar panels is qualified solar electric property if it’s charged only by solar energy. A software-management tool is qualified solar electric property where the software is necessary to monitor the charging and discharging of solar energy from a battery attached to solar  panels. Earlier installations of qualifying property don’t affect the availability of the solar credit for qualifying property in later years. Thus, where a qualifying solar panel system was installed in Year 1, an additional solar credit could be claimed in Year 2 for the installation of a battery that was connected to the system and was qualified solar electric property. (IRS Letter Ruling 201809003)