Stoel Rives attorney Greg Jenner spoke to the potential benefits afforded by the federal clean energy tax credit program in a recent Minneapolis Star Tribune op-ed. The full text of Jenner's op-ed follows below.
"Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's visit to Minnesota last week was a welcome reminder of the benefits in the stimulus bill for green energy. At his visit to Honeywell, the secretary announced the administration's support for an additional $5 billion in funds to be used for clean energy manufacturing.
The stimulus bill contained a new tax credit for "advanced energy manufacturing projects." Congress initially allocated $2.3 billion for the program. That money was awarded last month to 183 companies. The companies went through a very complicated application process, and their projects were thoroughly reviewed and scrutinized.
I personally can attest to the benefits that will be derived by companies that received these awards. I was pleased to assist in the applications of two companies: REC Silicon, which received the largest award ($154.8 million), and SolarWorld, which received the seventh-largest award ($82.2 million). These companies are on the cutting edge of technology in manufacturing solar panels (SolarWorld) and the polysilicon used to manufacture solar panels (REC). Their new facilities will make solar energy far more efficient and affordable. More important, the projects will create high-tech jobs in locations that, in many cases, have suffered from the economic downturn. In fact, one of the most important review criteria was the economic impact and job creation that would come about from the projects.
The additional $5 billion in funding can provide millions in tax credits to companies that successfully navigate the application process. This could mean new jobs, new facilities and more renewable energy for Minnesota companies, with impacts far exceeding the dollar amount of the credits awarded. Geithner's announcement is welcome news and should be applauded. We all should encourage our congressional delegation to push hard for this legislation as soon as possible."