Last-minute PTC extension cheers Oregon businesses
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
An extension of the Production Tax Credit, a key incentive for wind energy developers, gives the industry a one-year reprieve.
A 13th-hour deal struck New Year's Day by Congress to avoid drastic fiscal cuts included a one-year extension of the federal Production Tax Credit — news that was greeted with applause by many of Oregon's sustainable industries.
Extension of the credit, which provides a tax break of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced by wind energy, geothermal energy and biomass, had been pursued hotly by politicians in states with significant jobs attributed to wind energy, including Oregon.
The extension will grant the tax break, which lasts for 10 years, to wind farms that are under construction by the end of 2013. As Greentech Media points out, this is a significant change to past versions of the credit, which applied only to wind farms already producing energy by the end of the year.
The package of legislation that extended the PTC also included a number of energy tax provisions, including investment tax credits for offshore and community wind, biofuel credits and provisions for electric motorcycles — a key issue for Ashland-based Brammo Inc. — and energy efficient homes and appliances.
In comments made following the House of Representatives vote that passed the legislation package, President Barack Obama said, "Companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research that they do, the investments they make, and the clean energy jobs that they create."
Iberdrola Renewables, which has about 400 Oregon employees, issued a statement Wednesday saying, "Extension of the renewable tax credits is good news for Iberdrola Renewables, the U.S. clean energy sector and the tens of thousands of Americans who are working in this field."
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