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

Senate Passes Tax Extenders Bill With Wind PTC Extension

The legislation, which passed in the U.S. House earlier this month, will renew the critical production tax credit through the end of 2014 - giving developers only about two weeks left to start construction.


Transmission Study Shows Nebraska Could Handle A Lot More Wind Power

A new report released by the Nebraska Power Review Board finds that the state already has enough infrastructure to accommodate at least 2 GW of additional wind generation.


Can Wind Energy And Birds Coexist? Environmental Group Says Yes

The Environmental Defense Fund, a supporter of responsible wind energy development, points out ways to help mitigate impacts of turbines on birds and bats.


Another Study Finds Wind Turbines Do Not Affect Nearby Property Values

Research conducted by the University of Guelph focused on regions in Ontario, and the conclusion echoes that of previous studies.


Too Little, Too Late? U.S. House Approves Wind PTC Extension

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a tax extenders package that would renew the wind production tax credit (PTC) and about 50 other expired tax breaks through 2014. The wind industry argues the short-term fix is virtually no fix at all.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015