Oregon Governor Signs Business Energy Tax Credit Reform Legislation

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Gov. Ted Kulongoski, D-Ore., has signed H.B.3680, legislation that reforms and strengthens the business energy tax credit (BETC) program. The legislation caps the overall amount in tax credits allowable for the renewable energy and manufacturing portions of the program and phases out, over time, the credit for large wind projects.

Additionally, the legislation sets in law reforms the governor directed the Oregon Department of Energy to implement regarding stronger controls over the BETC and prioritizing the best projects for state investment.

The bill's provisions, according to The Oregonian, include the following:

– Reduces the maximum tax credit for wind energy projects from $10 million to $3.5 million in 2010, $2.5 million in 2011 and $1.5 million in 2012. The credit sunsets after 2012.

– Sets a cap of $300 million every two years for renewable energy projects and $200 million for manufacturing plants. The sunset on manufacturing tax credits was extended through 2014.

– Stops the practice of wind farms dividing into multiple smaller projects to claim numerous tax credits.

– Gives the state Department of Energy greater authority to reject applications or to suspend, revoke or put conditions on projects that receive approval for the subsidies.

– Sets performance standards for projects that receive the subsidies, and allows ‘claw back’ provisions to reclaim tax credits once they have been issued.

Kulongoski also signed H.B.3691, which allows above-market costs associated with compliance with the state's renewable portfolio standard to be recoverable in electric companies' rates.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Ted Kulongoski Â

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