The bill would extend the PTC to projects that start construction before the end of 2015. It also extends the ability of developers to opt for a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) instead of the PTC, a provision particularly important to the country's fledgling offshore wind sector. Both credits expired at the end of 2013.
"This provides a critical signal for our industry," said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.
The original draft of the legislation excluded the PTC and ITC extension, but the credits were added to the version debated by the committee Thursday.
In a critical 18-6 vote, panel members rejected an amendment proposed by Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey that would have stripped the bill of all provisions to incentivize renewable energy.
The finance committee vote is just one step in making the PTC extension a reality. The bill now has to go to the full Senate for a vote. An extension will also have to win approval from the House of Representatives.