H.R. 5376, which passed the U.S. Senate last week, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a 220-207 vote. President Joe Biden signed the legislation on Tuesday.
The bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), modifies and extends through 2024 tax credits for producing wind power, as well as creates new tax credits and incentivizes the domestic production and sale of qualifying wind components.
The bill provides funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for interregional and offshore wind electricity transmission planning, modeling and analysis. It also offers for the lease of federal land in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for offshore wind development.
Specifically, the Department of Interior (DOI) may issue leases, easements and rights-of-way in the OCS to produce, transport, store or transmit energy from sources other than oil and gas (e.g., offshore wind energy sources) in land areas previously withdrawn from leasing.
“In addition to extending and expanding a variety of critical energy tax incentives, this piece of legislation will ensure that all utilities can benefit from these incentives, which encourage the critical energy investments they need to continue to use cleaner generating technologies,” comments Joy Ditto, American Public Power Association’s president and CEO. “In the end, this makes these incentives fairer and more effective.”
In addition, the bill expands the definition of the OCS to include land that is within the U.S. exclusive economic zone and adjacent to any territory of the United States and allows DOI to conduct wind lease sales that are in such areas if the leases meet specified criteria.