Financing the Project – Can You Count on U.S. Government Wind Energy Incentives?
Herman Trabish of Greentech Media reported on remarks made by Stoel Rives attorney Graham Noyes regarding finance options for new wind power projects at a recent Windpower Engineering webinar. With six and even five-and-one-half cents per kilowatt-hour bids now commonplace for new wind energy generation facilities, wind power is poised to take a leading role in new U.S. power capacity.
Noyes noted that several U.S. government clean energy incentives programs, such as the Section 1603 investment tax credit, Recovery Act-funded loan guarantee program and bonus depreciation opportunities now appear vulnerable in the current political climate. "While there's fairly good support for keeping programs in place that are there now," he said, "everybody knows that to the extent that a program has a sunset date on it, now is not a good time to have a high confidence that it's going to get extended."
A new alternative source of wind power project funding is the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC). "We see this as a new hot area," Noyes said, "previously used in commercial real estate development and manufacturing." It has some sophisticated requirements, "but you do have the ability for a qualifying project to get a 39 percent tax credit spread over a seven-year period." It is, he said, "currently at $3.5 billion of funding."
"Psst – Hey Buddy, Wanna Build a Wind Farm" was published by the Greentech Media, April 27, 2011.