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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - February 2016

On Dec. 18, President Barack Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which provides extensions and phase outs for the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC). The PTC was extended through 2016, with a phase out plan for the credit after 2019. The ITC was extended through 2019, also with a phase out plan, with a date set for after 2021. Both bills are available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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The U.S. Department of Energy released the 2014 Renewable Energy Data Book, Dec. 9. The data book illustrates 2014 U.S. and global energy statistics, including renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments and technology-specific data and trends. Key insights in the data book included that renewable electricity accounted for more than 50 percent of all new U.S. electricity capacity installations in 2014. The data book is published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Strategic Energy Analysis Center on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Dec. 14 recognized brewers in both  Asheville and Western North Carolina as the winners of the SEIA Solar Champion Award. The breweries were presented with the award at the Highland Brewing Company. The award is given to entities or individuals who have helped strengthen solar energy in the United States. Breweries such as the Appalachian Mountain Brewery, French Broad Brewery, Highland Brewing Company, Innovation Brewing, New Belgium Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company were recognized for their efforts in using solar energy to power their operations. Rhone Resch, president and chief executive officer of SEIA, said in a press release that because of solar’s cost-effectiveness, reliability and successful public policies, these North Carolina breweries are taking a step toward self-reliance, while saving money and reducing pollution.

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On Dec. 30, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the Oregon Department of Energy incorrectly calculated a taxpayer’s business energy tax credit relating to the construction of its renewal energy facility in the state. The ruling was in the case SIF Energy LLC v. State of Oregon. The department had interpreted the credit statute to mean that it had the discretion to certify actual eligible costs between 100 and 110 percent of the taxpayer’s estimated cost. However, the court rejected the department’s interpretation holding that the statute requires the department to certify all actual eligible costs up to 110 percent of the estimated cost.

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The Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of the Treasury, Dec. 31 published audit report OIG-15-045 Recovery Act: Audit of Penascal Wind Power LLC Payment Under 1603 Program, dated Sept. 3. As part of the ongoing oversight of the Department of the Treasury’s Section 1603 Program–Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits, OIG conducted audits of selected award recipients. Penascal Wind Power LLC (Penascal I) submitted its claim a renewable energy cash grant for a wind energy property in Sarita, Texas, in the amount of $114,071,646. This amount was awarded by the Treasury. OIG concluded that Penascal I included $3,068,194 in its reported cost basis of $380,238,820 that did not comply with Treasury’s Section 1603 program guidance. OIG recommended that Penascal I reimburse the Treasury $920,458 for the excessive Section 1603 Program payment received. The audit is available at www.energytaxcredits.com.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

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