Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies
With the federal tax credit for offshore wind projects about to expire, every day counts.
Beyond the immediate concerns with permitting, Vineyard Wind faces a tangle of logistical challenges and potential investor turmoil if the project continues to see delays. Anthony Logan, an industry expert with the renewables research firm Wood Mackenzie Power, has spent the past six years forecasting the wind energy field. He said that while Vineyard Wind, barring major disaster, remains poised to become the first industrial-scale offshore wind-farm in the U.S., the financial success of the project is dependent on qualifying for a federal tax incentive for wind energy projects, known as the investment tax credit (ITC).
The United States Department of Commerce has launched antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of utility scale wind tower imports from Canada and three other countries. The investigations will determine if the towers are being dumped in the U.S. and are receiving unfair subsidies.
Terra-Gen officials are focused on having amendments passed to Schuyler County’s zoning laws. Language added in 1990 does not allow building permits to construct wind farms. ...opponents to the project found the zoning language, which county officials were not aware existed.
U.S. offshore wind developers will need to optimize turbine advancements, supply chains and capacity markets to counter falling tax credits and beat the record U.S. price set in Massachusetts, industry experts told the US Offshore Wind 2019 Conference.
Committee co-chairman Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, has been a major proponent of an increase in the wind tax. While he was interested in the potential of changes to the state’s wind tax structure, he didn’t think Wyoming needed to worry about its competitiveness with its western neighbors. Considering Wyoming’s placement geographically, Case said developers looking to feed Washington and Oregon with renewable energy wouldn’t be able to stay out of the state, despite a higher cost of development.
A new rule takes effect Aug. 1 that will provide the Oklahoma Corporation Commission with additional dollars to help regulate the development of wind energy resources in the state.
The House Ways and Means Committee approved a broad tax bill Thursday night that includes an extension of the biodiesel tax credit and incentives for biofuel infrastructure and wind power, but the legislation will face objections in the Republican-controlled Senate. ...The bill would revive extend the $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax credit, blender pump infrastructure credit, and a wind production credit along with several other credits through 2020.
On Wednesday, the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) held a public hearing to gather comments on a plan to deliver $11.6 million in tax breaks to the Baron Winds Project — a $304 million project of parent company Innogy destined to locate 69 turbines in the towns of Fremont, Cohocton, Dansville, Wayland and Avoca.
In addition to changing property taxes, the bill would also establish a task force — three members from the House, three from the Senate, and two from county government with experience in wind energy valuations — to hold hearings and conduct research on wind farms that will be presented to the General Assembly by the end of 2019.
Although the three commission members all voted to approve the agreement, they each acknowledged the risks associated with the wind farm and the uncertainties surrounding the benefits to electric customers. If the price of certificates representing the environmental benefits of renewable energy fails to increase as projected, then the contract could cost consumers in the long run, said commissioner Abigail Anthony. Additionally, much of the savings are expected to come on windy winter days when the wind farm is expected to displace more expensive oil generators or natural gas-burning plants that may charge a premium. If those savings are lower, the net benefits may be too, Anthony said.
The task forces are expected to determine by the end of June long-term solution possibilities that can be enacted this year, "to end the annual extenders drama and provide certainty to the taxpayers who utilize those provisions," Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in remarks on the Senate floor.
How to cope with corporate buyers passing over wind projects to pursue solar’s tax credits was the topic dominating the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Houston last week. Unless wind developers can get prices down, the industry will see a 50% drop in new installations over the next five years.
An extension of the credits would need the backing of Senate Republicans to pass and would represent a bonanza for the solar and wind industries. Rooftop solar installer Solar City Corp. surged 34% after the 2015 deal was announced. BloombergNEF predicted the credits’ extension would lead to $73 billion in new investment and a 56% increase in new wind and solar capacity.
“In December 2018 and during the first quarter of 2019, we learned of allegations by federal authorities of fraudulent income conduct by the sponsor of these funds,” Berkshire said Saturday in the filing, without naming the sponsor. “As a result of our investigation into these allegations, we now believe that it is more likely than not that the income tax benefits that we recognized are not valid.”
To incentivize clean electricity, the bill would provide a production tax credit (PTC) or investment tax credit (ITC) to facilities that are at least 35% cleaner than average. It would be available as either a PTC with a maximum of 2.4 cents per kilowatt-hour or an ITC of up to 30%.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved multibillion dollar offshore wind contracts with Vineyard Wind on Friday and, over the objections of Attorney General Maura Healey, authorized the state’s three utilities to collect an additional $168 million from ratepayers just for carrying the contracts on their books.
“There is no guarantee on how long the wind turbines will last, that being said we chose to have regular taxes paid rather than lower equal payments over the 30 years,” Wilde said. “The difference in the first year would be approximately $1 million and then decrease each year after. But there are variables as to how much they might decrease.”
As Massachusetts gets ready to issue its second request for offshore wind proposals, the state is weighing whether to speed up its procurement process to allow developers to reap federal tax benefits. Energy developers and environmental groups are encouraging the state to launch the solicitation as soon as next month.
Once the five years of exemptions are over, wind companies have been sending lawyers to county courthouses to file tax protests and lawsuits contending the value of their equipment is worth hundreds of millions of dollars less than the values assigned to them by county assessors. Wind industry representative claim they have good cause for their tax protests.