in News Departments > Policy Watch
print the content item



Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) has introduced H.R.2987, the PTC Certainty and Phase-Out Act of 2013, which would extend the PTC for six years before being completely phased out.

According to Fitzpatrick, who introduced the bill into the House before Congress dismissed for the August recess, the bill would provide the business certainty that wind developers and suppliers need.

"This bill gives wind energy producers a six-year window to make this alternative form of energy work on market-based principles," says Fitzpatrick. "The phase-out strategy outlined in this bill can be a model for similar tax credits to provide entrepreneurs with a level playing field while giving these companies the opportunity to innovate and plan for success."

The federal PTC for wind expires at the end of this year. However, a change in the rules, added during the last extension, requires project developers to show that project construction in 2013 must be able to demonstrate "significant work of a physical nature" and show that 5% of their costs have been incurred.

Congress amended the language to allow any project that starts construction in 2013 to qualify for the PTC, rather than require the project to be fully completed. Congress tweaked the rule to allow developers to maximize the tax incentive.

In the release, Fitzpatrick notes the last-minute approach to the previous PTC extension has resulted in thousands of layoffs. Langhorne, Pa.-based turbine maker Gamesa, which is part of Fitzpatrick's Bucks County district, has been particularly hit hard by PTC uncertainty.

"This boom-bust cycle has kept the industry in a state of perpetual uncertainty," says David Flitterman, Gamesa's North American chairman, adding that with stable policy, manufacturers are able invest in research and development that can drive down the cost of energy. 

"Under Fitzpatrick’s bill, that downward trend would continue, enabling the industry to reach grid parity by the time the PTC phases out," says Flitterman. "His legislation provides the certainty manufacturers need to make these long-term investments."

Given the full docket facing legislators this fall, such as debt ceiling and tax reform negotiations, the long-term prospects are unclear for the stand-alone bill in a divided Congress.

In a statement, the American Wind Energy Association says Fitzpatrick's legislation, if part of a comprehensive tax reform bill, "could provide the wind industry with much needed predictability and allow for longer term planning and investment into future U.S. projects."


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Quebec Government Postpones Wind Power RFP; No New Date Scheduled

The request for proposals (RFP) is part of an overall 800 MW wind power tranche that will serve as a bridge to the next phase in the province's energy future.


Setting The Record Straight: How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?

Several peer-reviewed studies are more or less in agreement with avian mortality rates caused by wind turbines. However, one study, which is wildly off from the others, is most often cited in the media. Why?


Six Takeaways From The IRS' Start Of Construction Guidance: What You Need To Know

The IRS recently issued guidance to wind developers to further spell out what "start of construction" means. Will you be covered?


Eagle Take Permits For Wind Farms - Will They Fly?

Now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the first permit allowing the legal take of eagles, can wind developers expect more certainty in the agency's application process?


Despite 2013 Challenges, U.S. Wind Power Reaches All-Time Low Price

In a new report, the U.S. Department of Energy details the highs and lows of the country's wind industry last year, and the agency maintains that the U.S. sector remains strong.

Canwea_id1984
Renewable NRG_id1934
Tower Conference_id1965
UnitedEquip_id1995