Thirteen renewable energy companies and advocacy groups have issued a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., urging support of Senate Bill 5896. If passed, the bill would extend the renewable sales and use tax exemption, which the parties say has provided a tangible incentive for clean energy businesses to locate their projects in the state. The policy will otherwise expire in June.
Signers of the letter include the American Wind Energy Association, Atkins Global, Climate Solutions, EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, Everpower, First Wind, Iberdrola Renewables, the NW Energy Coalition, REC Silicon, Renewable Northwest Project, RES Americas, SolarCity Corp. and Vestas.
The policy results in a net benefit for the state, explains Ben Fairbanks, business development director for First Wind. "The Palouse Wind Project in Whitman County invested over $30 million locally during construction and will generate over $1,000,000 each year in public benefits," Fairbanks says. "This policy is one of the reasons for our project's success, and it should be extended."
The letter states that the sales tax exemption brings business to Washington and makes the state more competitive with other non-sales tax states, such as Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Renewable energy policies in Washington have resulted in $8 billion of capital investment, creating more than 5,000 construction jobs and over 1,200 permanent operations and manufacturing positions, according to the groups.
To view the letter, click here.