Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Property Tax Annotations

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Annotation 610.0093

610.0093 Solar Energy System Exclusion. A renewable energy facility produces methane-rich biogas using dairy cow manure, which is pooled in an 8,000,000 gallon earthen pond, and then covered by a high-density poly-ethylene (HDPE) cover anchored into the ground around the pond to form a "covered lagoon digester." If the temperature in the covered lagoon is high enough, naturally-occurring bacteria in the manure metabolically digests calories in the manure and releases methane gas, which is captured under the cover and used as fuel for the onsite generator. The HDPE cover is made of black, solar-absorbent plastic to collect the sun's heat, transfers the heat to the manure under the cover, and holds the solar energy to catalyze the biological reaction that creates methane gas fuel for the facility. Because the heat generated by the HDPE cover is used directly over the site it covers, it is not thermally isolated from the space where the energy is used. Therefore, the HDPE cover does not meet the Revenue and Taxation Code section 73 definition of an "active solar energy system." In addition, the HDPE cover appears to be a passive system, as it is designed to collect solar energy for heating, but contains no active or mechanical components. Thus, the HDPE cover does not qualify for the active solar energy system new construction exclusion. C 5/6/2014.