Members of Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team attended the 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit in Carlsbad, CA, February 5-7. Here are some of the themes from the conference:

  • While there is a push to complete many projects in 2020, there was a lot of discussion about how the industry and project financing will evolve in coming years as the Production Tax Credit steps down and after it sunsets. The industry is becoming increasingly complex with ever-changing state and federal policies, an increase in C&I offtakers, increasingly complex non-traditional offtake arrangements, and new financing parties waiting in the wings. It is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that these changes create. Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team can help you navigate these ever changing challenges and opportunities and ensure that your project is completed on time and in compliance with all state and federal policies.

Continue Reading 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit Recap

In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that the agency will be proposing a streamlined eagle incidental take permitting process for wind energy projects that are considered “low-risk” to eagles. Although this new low-risk framework has not been finalized or formally proposed yet, USFWS has made available a presentation outlining the framework.

Continue Reading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service To Propose New Low-risk Framework for Eagle Incidental Take Permitting Process

Renewable energy developers believed to have dodged a bullet in the Senate’s tax reform bill face newfound concerns as the upper chamber works toward expected final passage this week. While the Senate bill preserves important Production Tax Credits (PTCs) that had been significantly rolled back in the House, it also contains a provision which would severely undercut the value of tax equity credits relied upon by institutional investors to justify upfront investments in wind and solar projects. Continue Reading “Base Erosion Tax” Poses Newfound Threat to Wind and Solar Development

Late last night, the Senate Finance Committee voted its massive tax overhaul bill out of committee, retaining Production Tax Credits (PTC) important to the wind industry. The House version, which cleared the lower chamber earlier in the day, significantly scaled back these credits.

After taking a week off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the full Senate is expected to Continue Reading Senate Battle Over PTC Heating Up

As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its massive tax overhaul plan today, largely along party lines.  The House package significantly scales back important production tax credits (PTCs) which renewable industry supporters believe have jump-started new investment.  All eyes now turn to the Senate as a backstop to keep these incentives in place. Continue Reading House Passes Tax Overhaul Plan, PTC Cuts Intact

Last night the Senate Finance Committee released its own tax overhaul bill, which will be taken up next week by the committee.  The legislation retains important tax credits for wind developers, setting up a likely showdown with the House of Representatives during conference committee negotiations over the legislation before the end of the year.

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) enjoys outspoken support from an important bloc of Republican Finance Committee members, including Continue Reading Senate Version of Tax Bill Retains Incentives for Renewables

This morning the House Ways & Means Committee rejected an amendment attempting to restore existing tax breaks for wind energy projects.  This essentially leaves it up to Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and other historically strong supporters of wind energy to protect these incentives in the Senate Finance Committee version of the bill.  The Republicans’ slim majority in the Senate, especially given Sen. Grassley’s prior threats that wind energy tax credits will be eliminated “over my dead body,”  suggests there may be Continue Reading House Ways & Means Rejects Amendment to Restore PTC

On November 3 the U.S. House of Representatives released  the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the Act) which contains provisions that will significantly affect production tax credits (PTC) for wind projects.  Based on a review of Section 3501 of the initial draft and conversations with legislative staffers, we expect the potential financial impact to negatively affect planned expansions in wind capacity in the United States. Continue Reading Proposed Cuts to Production Tax Credits Would Negatively Impact Wind Development

NOTE: An earlier draft of this update indicating that the FAA policy was still under consideration was inadvertently published last week. That draft was out of date and should not be relied on as a statement of FAA policies currently under consideration.

Changes to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy concerning the issuance of Determinations of No Hazard to Air Navigation (DNHs) under discussion late last year would have had profound and potentially adverse repercussions on wind development projects nationwide. Fortunately, Continue Reading FAA Changes Would Have Disrupted Financing of Wind Development Projects Nationwide

Two bills with the potential to impact the siting of new wind energy projects have been introduced by the Texas legislature. Senate Bill 277 (authored by Sen. Donna Campbell) and its companion, House Bill 445 (authored by Rep. James Frank), would if enacted prohibit Continue Reading Texas Legislation Seeks to Limit Tax Incentives to Wind Farms Built Near Military Bases