The House voted 316-113 to approve the 2016 spending package, and the Senate followed with a 65-33 vote. The package included a retroactive five-year extension on the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The PTC gives wind developers a credit of $0.023 per kilowatt-hour for electricity generated to the grid. After that, the credit will maintain its level through 2016 and phase down at 80 percent of its present value in 2017, 60 percent in 2018, and 40 percent in 2019. Projects must begin construction before the end of year in order to qualify.
“Thanks to the ITC, solar energy will add 220,000 new jobs by 2020, and with this extension, the solar industry can achieve its pledge of employing 50,000 veterans,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). He also noted that the extension will boost installations to triple by 2020 to 100 GW and bring in more than $133 billion in new, private sector investment by 2020.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said the PTC will advance the industry.
“We’re going to keep this American wind power success story going,” Kiernan said. “With predictable policies now in place, we will continue advancing wind turbine technology, driving down our costs and passing the savings on to American families and businesses in all corners of the country. We look forward to building a future with more affordable, reliable, clean wind energy.”
Tri Global Energy, a renewable energy developer, said the tax credits will help businesses to plan for the future.
“This is a game changer for out company and will finally allow us to plan with certainty our growth and expansion over the next several years,” said John Billingsley, chairman and CEO of Tri Global Energy. “Tri Global Energy plans aggressive expansion of both our wind and solar divisions into diversified geographical areas across the U.S.”
Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland said the company would expand its project development due to the PTC extension, as did EDP Renewables North America and Siemens Onshore Americas.