The bill would extend the PTC to projects that start construction before the end of 2016, but it is only the beginning of a long road towards certainty for the US wind industry.
"This is big step in the right direction," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The package must still be voted on by the full Senate, and if it is passed reconciled with whatever the House of Representatives decides to do.
The House tax-writing committee is expected to vote on its own tax extender plan in September, says Keith Martin, a partner in the law firm Chadbourne and Parke LLP, but is taking a different approach. It wants to make a small number of tax benefits permanent and let the others expire.
"The House will not vote to extend," says Martin. "The extensions for renewable energy will come down ultimately to a negotiation between the House and Senate."