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Clean Energy Tax Incentive Will Hit Its Cap

Paul Sakuma / File / AP
 

Paul Sakuma / File / AP

A program to lure clean energy and other green businesses to California will run out of money for the first time.

A state program started in 2010 awards up to $100 million per year in tax breaks to clean energy, electric vehicle, and energy efficient manufacturing companies, to encourage them to locate in the state.

In October, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to open the program to recycling and composting companies, as well.

But the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority has already received enough applications for the program to hit its limit both this year and in 2016.

"I think it’s a combination of the economy getting better and manufacturing actually being alive in California," says Deana Carrillo, the financing authority's executive director."We have Tesla, who’s building an EV manufacturing cluster, so to speak. We’re getting a lot of EV manufacturing coming in, as well as an expansion of what types of projects are eligible."

Tesla is a large recipient. The carmaker is currently applying for over $140 million--more than enough to deplete an entire year's fund.

The authority voted Tuesday to temporarily suspend the program for new applicants, while it works through the current list. Recycling and composting companies may also still seek up to $15 million. And, the authority will ask the state Legislature to raise the program cap.