As expected, Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., have proposed legislation that would extend the 30% investment tax credit (ITC) through 2025 and, consequently, spur the growth of offshore wind energy in the U.S.
According to the senators, last year’s omnibus bill extended the production tax credit (PTC) and ITC for wind until 2019, but because offshore energy development requires longer planning and permitting times, the Department of Energy has found that no offshore wind projects are projected to be able to qualify for these tax credits before they expire.
The first commercial U.S. offshore wind project, developed by Deepwater Wind near Block Island, R.I., is expected to come online later this year after being initiated nearly eight years ago.
Called the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (WIND) Act, the legislation is also sponsored by Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
“The answer to America’s clean energy future really is blowing in the wind,” says Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of the Senate Climate Clearinghouse. “Offshore wind projects hold tremendous promise for our nation and for Massachusetts as an engine to create tens of thousands of jobs, harness homegrown innovation, and reduce carbon pollution. We are the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind in New England, and we need to harness that potential by providing long-term certainty to this industry in the tax code.”
“Southern New England is home to America’s first offshore wind project, which has created jobs for Rhode Islanders and is poised to provide clean, renewable energy to Rhode Island homes and businesses,” says Whitehouse, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force. “It’s been a boost for our economy, and it will help to reduce the carbon pollution driving climate change. This bill will keep an important tax credit on the books so New England and other coastal and Great Lakes areas can continue to reap the benefits of offshore wind.”