Renewable Energy Tax Credit News Briefs – September 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act was introduced July 31 by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Senate Bill 1672 would create an investment tax credit (ITC) for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities that are placed in service. The program would offer a 30 percent credit and applicants would have to place their facility in service within five years of when they’re issued certification. The bill had 10 co-sponsors, which include nine Democrats and one Independent. S. 1672 is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 589 into law July 27. The bill updates the fees and charges of the utilities commission for renewable energy facilities. The bill amended regulations, stating the owner of each renewable energy facility or new renewable energy facility shall register the facility with the commission if it intends for renewable energy certificates it earns to be eligible for use by an electric power supplier. Two new subsections were added, charging $250 for each registration statement for a renewable energy facility or new renewable energy facility filed and it is $50 for each report of proposed construction filed by the owner of an electric generating facility that is exempt from the certification requirements. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA), announced her support for the bill, stating in a press release that SEIA appreciates Gov. Cooper’s leadership in signing N.C. H.B. 589 and that the landmark legislation would not have been possible without the support of state Reps. John Szoka and Dean Arp.

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The Department of Energy (DOE) announced Aug. 9 that wind energy costs are lower than ever, according to three new reports. The reports are the “2016 Wind Technologies Market Report,” the “2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report” and the “2016 Distributed Wind Market Report.” The wind industry deployed 8,203 megawatts (MW) in 2016, for 82,143 MW of installed capacity at the end of the year–with enough wind power online to power 25 million average American homes. Results indicated that U.S. wind jobs are up 32 percent over 2015. In addition, more than 20 projects totaling 24,135 MW of capacity are under development. DOE’s reports stated that wind is the largest source of American renewable energy capacity, supporting more than 100,000 U.S. jobs across all 50 states, with nearly 85,000 MW of installed capacity at the end of the second quarter of 2017.

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The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved July 7 Xcel Energy’s expansion plan for wind energy in the upper Midwest. The plan involves the construction of seven wind farms in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Xcel Energy expects all seven wind farms to be operational in 2020, qualifying for the 100 percent production tax credit (PTC). Development will provide enough energy to power more than 800,000 homes. Xcel Energy will own 1,150 MWs of the new wind energy, with the remaining 400 MW to be sold to the company under long-term power purchase agreements. The projects are Freeborn Wind Energy, a 200-MW project in Freeborn County in Minnesota and Worth and Mitchell counties in Iowa. Foxtail Wind is a 150-MW project in Dickey County in North Dakota. Blazing Star 1 is a 200-MW project and Blazing Star 2 is a 200-MW project, both in Lincoln County in Minnesota. Crowned Ridge Wind Project is a 600-MW project in Codington County in South Dakota, while Lake Benton Wind Project is a 100-MW project in Pipestone County in Minnesota. Clean Energy 1 is a 100-MW project in Morton and Mercer counties in North Dakota.

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