The tax credit, which has been a major driver for wind development across the U.S. over the past two decades, is worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy produced by new wind installations for their first 10 years of operation.
A White House news release confirmed that the production tax credit extension is included in the Senate package that the House also passed. According to industry insiders, it would allow any project that begins construction in 2013 to claim the credit, even if it goes online in 2014. The tax credit that expired on Monday could only be claimed for projects that went online in 2012.
“Just simply, 30 percent of the value of a project is derived from the tax credit,” said Florian Zerhusen, CEO of WKN USA, a San Diego-based wind developer who flipped the switch on two new 3-megawatt turbines in the San Gorgonio Pass on Dec. 21, just days before the credit expired on Monday.
The nascent wind industry needs this, and so do we. If you want to get nationalistic about it, other countries like Germany are eating our lunch and sending us the bill on renewables. Maybe a little healthy competition among advanced nations is good – if we would just choose to act like one. It’s a new year so let’s get with it, and not just on wind. Check out that map. There’s no wind in the South, sure. But there’s a lot of sun, even today.
Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.