LM Wind Power will use a $700,000 federal tax credit to re-equip and add up to 170 workers to its Grand Forks, N.D., blade manufacturing facility.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued the blade maker the credit as part of a $150 million funding round awarded to 12 clean energy businesses. Under the 48C Program, companies can receive an investment tax credit of 30% for the manufacture of particular types of domestic equipment.
Funded at $2.3 billion, the tax credit was made available to 183 domestic clean energy manufacturing facilities during Phase I of the program. The DOE says these new Phase II awards were launched to utilize $150 million in tax credits that were not used by the previous awardees and support projects that must be placed in service by 2017.
"Cost-effective, efficient manufacturing plays a critical role in continuing U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, and the tax credits announced today will help reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and buildings, create new jobs, and supply more clean energy projects in the United States and abroad with equipment made in America," says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
LM applied for the credits in the first quarter of this year. Bill Burga Jr., head of the company's Americas operations, says the award is a "significant boost to our competitiveness, which effectively leads to new jobs."
"The money will be spent on offsetting the costs of mold transportation, supporting tools and equipment required for the introduction of a 48- and a 53.2-meter mold to produce for major customers," he explains.
Burga adds that the company is grateful for the government's support of clean energy manufacturing. "This is a significant measure short term," he explains.
However, "Longer term, it remains crucial to get certainty around schemes such as the [production tax credit]. Our politicians need to show the ambition and commitment to provide a stable economic framework and the necessary visibility for investors to continuously develop this industry and ensure domestic employment."