Feds bump up wind PTC to adjust for inflation

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week increased the production tax credit for wind power sold this year, to $0.024/kWh, up slightly from $0.023/kWh.
  • Congress struck a deal in 2015 to extend the wind credit through 2020, with a gradual decline beginning this year. The IRS increase, announced April 12 in the Federal Register, accounts for inflation.
  • The credit will decrease to 80% of the PTC value for projects that start construction in 2017, and decline thereafter. According to North American Wind Power, if a project begins construction and is completed this year, it would be eligible for a PTC of $0.192kWh.

Dive Insight:

Despite President Trump's pledge to roll back regulations and incentivize fossil fuel production, tax credits for solar and wind production are expected to remain untouched — at least in part because it would take time to undo them, and the credits are slated to roll off the board within a few years anyway. 

The PTC is expiring by 2020 and a solar investment tax credit will drop to 10% of a project's cost in 2021, down from 30% today.

In the meantime, the IRS is continuing to make changes to the wind incentives based on inflation, and projects got a slight boost this week. Tax Equity Times notes that other forms of energy production, like open-loop biomass, small irrigation power, and hydrokinetic facilities, will see their production tax credit remain at $0.012/kWh.

The tax extensions, agreed to two years ago, were championed by Congressional Democrats who secured their place in exchange for lifting a ban on crude exports.

The IRS also noted that for calendar year 2017, the credit period for Indian coal production has expired.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables
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