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Small turbine tax credit attempt in Washington DC
1 August 2001
Legislation aimed at stimulating the market for small wind turbines -- in the form of a 30% investment tax credit for individuals and businesses that buy wind turbines of 75 kW or less -- has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The bill would provide a 30 per cent investment tax credit for individuals and businesses that purchase wind turbines with a rated capacity of 75 kW or less. "We think it's a great way to create an energy alternative for homes, for farms and small businesses," says Representative JC Watts, the Oklahoma Republican sponsoring the bill. With a tax incentive to lower the up-front cost of the small turbines, he says increased sales will result, helping manufacturers to increase their volume and lower costs. Michael Bergey of Oklahoma based Bergey Windpower, a leading small turbine manufacturer, welcomes the bill. A typical 10 kW residential wind turbine, he says, costs about $32,000 and takes about 15 years to pay for itself through lowered electricity costs. As an example of what can be done if the initial cost of the systems is reduced, Bergey points to California, which enacted a 50% rebate last year. Since the rebate went into effect, 70% of Bergey's sales have been to customers in that state. Bergey says there are more than 20 million homes in the US with an acre or more of land that would be suitable for small wind systems. Annual sales, however, number only in the hundreds of units. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced soon in the US Senate.
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