United States

United States

Senate to vote on PTC extension this week

UNITED STATES: The Senate is expected to vote this week on a further attempt to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) before the election.

Michigan Democrat senator Debbie Stabenow has added the PTC to the highway transportation bill. If successful, it would extend the credit until the end of 2013.

However, there is another amendment to the Transportation bill that could further damage the US wind sector. South Carolina Republican senator Jim DeMint has called for the repeal of all energy tax credits after 1 January.

The PTC is not scheduled to expire until December 31, but uncertainty over its future is already causing companies to suspend development activities and hold off on turbine orders for 2013.

Earlier this year, a similar effort was made to add the PTC as an amendment to payroll tax legislation. The wind industry saw the legislation as its best hope to win a near-term extension of the $0.022/kWh incentive.

A number of wind developers and manufacturers have said they are considering their plans in the US. In January, an Iberdrola spokesman said: "We are still pursuing selective opportunities in the US. But if we can’t [complete a project] in 2012, we don’t plan on building it in 2013 unless and until a PTC is passed."

Additionally, Vestas has said it will make US job cuts of around 1,600 if the PTC is not extended.  

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