Colorado’s solar industry, among the country’s strongest, is joining forces with solar companies nationwide to push for extension of tax credits so they can finish projects being slowed or put on hold by the coronavirus outbreak.

Concerns about not getting solar panels and other components from Asian countries in time have eased somewhat as China reports progress in fighting COVID-19, the highly infectious disease caused by the new coronavirus, and starts firing up idled manufacturing plants. Other countries, including South Korea and Malaysia, have helped keep the supply chain rolling.

However, solar companies are still concerned about manufacturers being able to deliver what they need in time to qualify for the federal investment tax credits. Companies are also facing hurdles as local governments shut down or delay inspections.

The Solar Energy Industries Association has asked Congress, as it looks at helping U.S. businesses, to extend the federal investment tax credits. Another request is to “monetize” them to give customers and investors the option to take a direct payment in place of a tax credit.

The organization also wants its workers to be deemed as essential to the economy so construction can continue as more communities and states narrow the activities allowed. A stay-at-home order issued Tuesday by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock exempts construction.

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