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Renewable Energy News Briefs - May 2021
Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, introduced legislation March 2 to update and expand the small wind investment tax credit (ITC). The Rural Wind Energy Modernization and Extension Act would strike the 100-kilowatt nameplate limitation for small wind systems and expand the maximum wind turbine size to 10 megawatts, change the definition of small wind to “distributed wind energy property,” and extend the ITC to cover 30% of a project’s costs until 2028 before phasing down to a permanent 10%. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon.
Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives March 4 would extend the renewable energy ITC for 10 years at a 30% rate. The Sunshine Forever Act (H.R. 1557), introduced by Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Florida, would extend the ITC through 2034 at the pre-phasedown rate of 30%. The ITC is now at 26% with further phasedown coming to 10% in 2024. The Sunshine Forever Act would reinstate the 30% credit for properties placed in service from 2021 through 2034.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and 10 other senators introduced legislation March 9 to modify the existing investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy to include the deployment of energy storage. The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2021 (S. 627) would add storage to ITC-eligible resources. An identical bill (H.R. 1684) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pennsylvania, Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and Vern Buchanan, R-Florida. The legislation would apply to property placed in service or expenditures paid or incurred after Dec. 31, 2020.
Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate March 25 would give investors in a range of clean-energy projects the ability to form master limited partnerships (MLPs), putting them on level ground with investors in fossil fuel-based projects. The Financing Our Energy Future Act (S. 1034) would allow clean energy project investors to use an MLP structure, which gives those projects access to larger and more liquid sources of capital than currently available, making them effective at attracting private investment. Energy resources covered in S. 1034 include solar, wind, hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic energy, fuel cells and more. S. 1034 was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas. Among the co-sponsors are four Republicans, four Democrats and one Independent. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.
Three U.S. Senators introduced legislation to allow for temporary refundability of renewable energy ITCs and production tax credits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Save America’s Clean Energy Jobs Act would apply to properties that begin construction before Jan. 1, 2023, and are placed in service after March 25, 2021. The bill’s sponsors are Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, and Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico.