Wind Generation Tax Hike Gets The Boot In Wyoming

Betsy Lillian
Written by Betsy Lillian
on January 24, 2017 No Comments
Categories : Featured, Policy Watch

Wind generation in Wyoming is no longer under the threat of being hit with a big tax spike: The state’s House Revenue Committee has axed a proposal that would have raised wind taxes by $4/MWh.

Specifically, according to the Carbon County Economic Development Corp., which testified during yesterday’s decision, the bill, H.B.0127, would have hiked up the taxes from $1/MWh to $5/MWh.

“The bill was killed!” the corporation proclaimed in a statement, adding that the committee voted two “ayes” versus seven “nays” to defeat the legislation. Duke Energy and Rocky Mountain Power were also in attendance to speak out against the tax increase.

Sponsored by state Republican lawmakers Rep. Scott Clem, Rep. Michael Madden and Sen. Cale Case, the legislation called for distributing these proceeds in the state’s general fund, according to the text of the bill.

Power Company of Wyoming, whose 2 GW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Project is increasingly advancing in Carbon County, says in a statement that it “appreciates the House Revenue Committee’s careful consideration of the facts and their vote against the bill.”

“We also appreciate the many local government officials who attended the meeting and those who spoke in opposition to the bill,” the company adds. “They talked about the importance of economic diversification for their communities and the benefits that wind projects can bring to Wyoming.”

For example, according to coverage from the Wyoming Business Report, a Carbon County commissioner said “changing the rules this late in the game,” – i.e., bringing forth the tax increase while projects are already either in development or in operation – “seems like retribution.”

For Duke Energy Renewables – which, according to Drew Dickson, managing director of business development, is the “second largest owner of operating wind projects” in the state (behind Rocky Mountain Power) – “repeated production tax increases on existing projects would create the kind of instability that will chill interest in further business development in Wyoming,” he says in a statement.

Wyoming is no stranger to this type of proposal: Similarly, last September, the same committee shut down a proposed $2/MWh tax increase on wind.

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