A Republican and Democrat have introduced legislation in the U.S. House of representatives to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind and other renewable energy projects through 2016.
The bi-partisan legislation, co-sponsored by Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), marks the first concrete effort by the Republican-led House to extend a renewable energy subsidy. Until now indications were that the House was willing to altogether end green energy subsidies.
That uncertainty pushed large green power developers to curtail investments, including Edison Mission Group, which last week announced a significant cut in its wind investments.
Enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, over nearly two decades the PTC has been extended three times: in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
The PTC is available to wind developers. Companies developing projects that generate electricity from geothermal, marine and certain types of biomass feedstocks can also apply for the credit. The PTC is worth 2.2-cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a plant’s operation, .
In a statement Rep. Reichert said an extension of the PTC “will leverage private investment to bring proven energy projects online, bolster domestic manufacturing, and reduce electricity costs for businesses and families.” The bill’s cosponsor, Rep. Blumenauer said the PTCs “are an essential part of powering America’s clean energy future.”