The US Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore projects is to be reinstated, after lapsing at midnight on 31 December. President Barack Obama has said that he will sign into law a reprieve for both the ITC and the production tax credit (PTC). The two tax credits were included in bills passed by Congress early in the New Year.
The Senate passed its 'fiscal cliff' bill in the early hours of 1 January by 89 to 8. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill by 257 to 167 later that night. The ITC and PTC technically expired at the year’s-end, but they will be backdated once they are signed into law.
Projects beginning construction in 2013 will be eligible for either tax credit. The ITC is of most interest to offshore developers and offers a tax break worth 30% of capital expenditure. The credit is taken once the project is commissioned.
Jim Lanard, president of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, told Windpower Offshore that the votes were "momentous". He said that both Energy Management Inc.'s planned 468MW Cape Wind project and Deepwater Wind’s 30MW Block Island project look like they could benefit from the ITC. The coalition will now seek to prolong the ITC. "Our perspective is that you don’t start phasing out offshore wind before you have phased it in," said Lanard.
Energy Management Inc.'s Mark Rodgers added: "The support to extend wind incentives by President Obama and Congress will help enable the US wind industry to continue creating jobs and increasing energy independence in an environmentally sustainable way. It is notable that that these wind incentives have considerable bipartisan support".