Another Try for Renewable Energy PTC Legislation, Report Shows How It's Spurred Growth in Nevada

Another Try for the PTC

After failing to pass as part of the transportation bill, a bipartisan group of six senators led by Senator Chuck Grassley, (R-IO) is trying to extend the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) in a separate, narrower bill. 

S. 2201, the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, calls for a two-year extension of the tax credits for wind, and one-year for biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, municipal waste, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic energy.

The PTC gives wind and closed loop biomass developers a tax deduction of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), and gives the other sectors a 1.1 cent/kWh credit.

The wind credit is due to expire at the end of this year, and the others expire at the end of 2013.

Grassley, who represents a strong wind state, was among the senators who voted against the previous amendment, because it reinstated the expired 1603 grant program. It gives developers the option of receiving a cash grant instead of taking a 30% investment tax credit.

Introducing a separate bill that only renews the PTC could gain wider support.

The other co-sponsors of the PTC extension are Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Harkin (D-IO), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

It could also be attached to the "Jumpstart Our Business Start-Ups," (JOBS, Act), which is pending in the Senate and passed overwhelmingly in the House last month.

"With employers like Vestas willing to invest in Colorado, Congress needs to act well before the deadline and give these employers certainty to plan ahead – otherwise those jobs will move to other countries," says Sen. Mark Udall. "Failing to extend the production tax credit for wind energy will threaten the industry’s growth and Colorado jobs, and I’ll continue to push my colleagues for a better solution where Colorado keeps our jobs."

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bill yesterday that would repeal tax incentives for oil companies and use that money to finance the extension of the PTC and energy efficiency incentives. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says he’ll bring it to the floor for a vote within two weeks.

Senator Reid Releases "Playing to Win in Clean Energy"

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) released a report that shows how federal legislation has spurred the growth of renewable energy in Nevada, and what’s needed to drive more investment.

"There are more renewable energy projects under construction today than at any other time in Nevada’s history," Reid says. "The clean energy projects underway in Nevada did not happen by accident and they did not happen overnight. We must foster more private-public partnerships and continue to offer critical job-creating tax credits."

His report highlights six projects that have contributed over $1 billion to the state’s economy, while adding over 2,200 renewable energy jobs.

  • Nevada jobs in clean energy grew 5.8% a year from 2003-2010 and are expected to grow nearly 11% from 2011-2016
  • Clean energy jobs pay $8,000 more than the median wage for other jobs in Nevada
  • Nevada ranks in the top 5 states for installed solar PV and concentrating solar, and geothermal capacity

Nevada’s wind energy resources can provide nearly 60% of the state’s current electricity needs. The state has the most geothermal projects under development, and is ranked 3rd for utility-scale solar PV capacity and projects under development.

The Bureau of Land Management recently designated more than 1,100 megawatts of renewable energy projects in Nevada as priority projects in 2012.

Here’s the report:

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