Bills to reinstate the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind were introduced in early February with wide support in both houses of the US Congress. But despite the support, legislation is highly unlikely to be passed before late summer, at the earliest, leaving wind without support for several months. The current PTC-which adds $0.017/kWh to utility payments to wind power for the first ten years of a project's life-expires June 30, meaning projects not on-line before that date will not be eligible for it. No tax legislation was passed by the US Congress last year, because of partisan deadlock on Capitol Hill, making it likely that a bill will be enacted this session. But such legislation takes time. "The likelihood is that they would not pass a tax bill until September or October," says Randy Swisher of the American Wind Energy Association. Several hundred megawatts of wind is right now being rushed into the ground to make the June 30 deadline. More projects in California, already granted a state subsidy under restructuring legislation, are stymied as their development is dependent on the PTC. The bill seems to be gathering momentum in Congress. During last month it won the backing of two further members of the Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation, bringing the number of supporters to 21 of the 39 committee members.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol