A State Senator from Cedar Rapids is touting legislation approved this past session that will provide state tax credits for business or home owners who install solar electric, solar hot water and geothermal systems. This morning, Democrat Rob Hogg lead a news conference in Cedar Rapids to highlight the details of the new tax credit.

“There’s a 30% federal tax credit (for solar energy systems), this adds on to that a 15% state tax credit, up to $15,000 for businesses or up to $3,000 for homeowners,” Hogg said. The host site for the news conference was Paulson Electric, which has solar panels on its roof.

A company official said the 20 kilowatt system provides one-third of Paulson Electric’s energy needs. Hogg believes the $1.5 million in state tax credits made available this year will help grow Iowa’s solar energy industry — which has lagged behind other states.

“I’m one of those people who believes that we need to do more to get projects on the ground and we should do that in the future,” Hogg said. “It’s a real great opportunity for hundreds of businesses across our state to install solar energy now and every year, we can keep doing that and grow this industry and take it to the next level.”

A former University of Iowa football player has been lobbying legislators in recent years to do more to promote solar power in Iowa. Tim Dwight is president of the Iowa Solar Small Wind Trade Association.