Key senate committee approves wind tax credit extension
- The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to approve a package of extensions for some 50 tax incentives, including the $0.023 per kWh production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy projects. The package included an investment tax credit and expensing and bonus depreciation provisions to support wind development.
- The package of extensions must now win approval by the full Senate and a matching package must be approved by the House. When Congress failed to extend the tax incentives in 2013, development fell 92% and 30,000 wind industry jobs were lost. The 2014 restoration of the credit brought back 23,000 jobs, according to the wind industry.
- The package, which would extend the PTC through the end of 2016, was approved by a 23 to 3 vote. Wind advocates were encouraged by the lopsided count and say it reflects bipartisan support for wind.
Over 70% of congressional districts have wind turbines, wind manufacturing facilities, or both.
The wind industry brought a record 1,661 MW of new capacity online in the second quarter of 2015, according to the just-released quarterly industry market report. There are 100-plus wind projects under construction in 24 states, representing over 13,600 MW of capacity and $20 billion in private investment. Utilities signed PPAs for over 800 MWs of new wind capacity in Q2.
Hewlett Packard announced a 112 MW PPA and Facebook announced a 200 MW PPA, both with Texas projects, and two projects with corporate purchasers went online in Q2, IKEA’s 98 MW Illinois project and a 211 MW Mars-owned Texas project.
Florida’s Gulf Power signed a 180 MW PPA and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative signed a 108 MW PPA, both with Midwest producers. Iberdrola Renewables broke ground on the first utility-scale wind project in the Southeast, the 208 MW Amazon Wind project, which will provide its output to Amazon Web Services.
- Washington Times Wind industry wins key victory in Senate