Microsoft and Sprint have joined the push for an extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy.
The companies wrote a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to extend the PTC. Microsoft and Sprint are the largest ‘wind customer’ companies to call on Congress to extend the PTC, ranking 37th and 90th, respectively, in the Fortune 500, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
They join 15 other major U.S. companies and consumer brands – including Starbucks, Nike, Campbell's Soup, Staples and Yahoo! – which signed a similar letter in February.
"The PTC has enabled the wind industry to slash wind energy costs – 90 percent since 1980 – a big reason why companies like ours are buying increasing amounts of wind energy," the letter states. "Failure to extend the PTC for wind would tax our companies and thousands of others like us that purchase significant amounts renewable energy and hurt our bottom line at a time when the economy is struggling to recover."
The companies warned Congress that "eliminating the PTC will sharply increase prices for wind energy and particularly affect the many large and influential companies that are already committed to buying and using wind energy."
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Microsoft is the third-largest purchaser of green power in the U.S.
Sprint is the only wireless provider to be included on the U.S. EPA Green Power Partners National Top 50 list, and is No. 14 on the Fortune 500 list. In 2006, Sprint announced a five-year agreement with Kansas City Power & Light that facilitated the development of the Spearville, Kan., wind farm. In 2010, wind power provided 93% of the energy needs for Sprint's 200-acre Overland Park, Kan., campus.