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US Extends Wind Credit
Congress passes wind credit extension as part of “fiscal cliff” bargain
Late Tuesday (Jan. 1), Congress passed a one-year extension to a wind power credit as part of the final “fiscal cliff” bargain.
“We thank President Obama and all the members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014,” Denise Bode, the departing chief executive of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), said in a statement.
The fiscal cliff bill also preserved an element to the wind incentive that allows wind projects under construction, rather than in service, to receive the Production Tax Credit.
The long-term status of the wind credits remains unknown. The American Wind Energy Association proposed extending the credit for this year and then ramping it down to end after five more years.
Vestas, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer who had invested in turbine plants in Colorado, and cut its workforce in anticipation of the expiration of the wind credit program, applauded the extension.
“The short-term PTC extension is critical to ensure projects move forward and orders are placed that will support U.S. manufacturing and the domestic supply chain,” the company said in a statement. However, the extension of the PTC does not affect Vestas’ projections to deliver about 5 gigawatts this year and to employ about 16,000 people by the end of 2013, Vestas said.
Wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, according to the Energy Information Administration. Wind led the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.