Home builder plans 1,487 solar-powered homes

Woodside Homes, a Utah-based home builder, has come to a deal with the Sacramento (Calif.) Municipal Utility District to build 1,487 new solar-powered homes in that city, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee.

The homes are planned for the suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Rancho Murieta, to be completed by 2012, according to the report.

The deal is part of a program by the municipal utility district that has seen 10 similar arrangements with home builders. As part of the deal, builders must build energy-efficient homes, and the utility district will help the builder pay for solar power systems. According to the newspaper, the city most recently reached a similar deal with national home builder Lennar for 1,254 new homes.

Builders can receive federal tax credits for adding solar power systems to houses, while homeowners can receive similar tax credits -- both credits are worth about $2,000, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program.