Wind energy tax credits divide Republicans
Danish wind turbine-maker Vestas, which opened its new North American sales and service headquarters in the Pearl District earlier this year, may lay off 1,600 workers in the U.S. later this year if a key federal tax credit isn't extended. The job cuts are expected to mostly impact the company's Colorado factories.
The U.S. wind energy industry, accustomed to the support of Democrats, is now getting some Republican support as a critical federal tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the debate over renewing the federal production tax credit is drawing support from some conservative lawmakers in states such as Texas, Iowa and Colorado that have major shares of the U.S. wind energy industry.
The tax credit gives wind farm operators a credit of two cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, helping wind power become more cost-competitive with cheaper coal- and natural gas-powered electricity. But the credit is set to expire on Dec. 31, taking with it the industry's hopes for continuing what has been a record-high increase in capacity this year.
Danish wind turbine-maker Vestas A/S -- which keeps its North American sales and service headquarters in the Pearl District --announced in January that it may have to layoff 1,600 workers in the U.S., mostly at its Colorado manufacturing plants, if the tax credit doesn't get extended.
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