Monday, January 07, 2013

Renewable Energy Law News - Week of January 7, 2013


Wind Energy Tax Credit Extension Passes with Fiscal Cliff Deal

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed legislation that included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.

The extension of the production tax credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country. Wind energy PTC, and ITC for community and offshore projects, will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

The version included in the deal would cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18-24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm.

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee included that version in a "tax extenders" package they assembled in August, which made it into the overall fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate early Tuesday morning and the House Tuesday night. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law swiftly.

The Energy Information Administration said that wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, leading the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.


U.S. Gauging Interest in New York Offshore Wind Farm Projects

The Obama administration is gauging interest in wind power development off the coast of New York, after a state agency proposed an offshore project 11 nautical miles south of Long Beach.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a request today for any competing interests in the proposed lease area, which covers about 127 square miles (329 square kilometers), according to an e-mailed statement. If no other parties express interest, the New York Power Authority can get a lease on a non- competitive basis.

The agency, part of the U.S. Interior Department, is also seeking comments on potential environmental effects of a wind farm in the area. The authority has proposed a project that would generate 350 to 700 megawatts of power for Long Island and New York City.

There are no offshore wind farms currently operating in the U.S. The government has awarded two offshore wind-energy leases, in Massachusetts in 2010 and in Delaware in October, through non-competitive arrangements with Cape Wind Associates LLC and NRG Energy Inc. The administration plans to conduct the first competitive lease auctions this year for projects off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia.

The Long Island - New York City Offshore Wind Project is being backed by the New York Power Authority, Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison Co., according to its website. The Long Island Power Authority canceled plans in 2007 to build a wind farm off Jones Beach after costs rose.


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