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

On December 16, 2016, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the Service) issued a final rule revising the eagle take permit regulations.  The rule is intended to make the permit process less onerous for wind energy project developers and other companies that engage in activities with the potential to disturb, injure, or kill bald and golden eagles.  On that same date, the Service also published Continue Reading Final Rule Improves Eagle Take Permitting Process

Energy storageMassachusetts took a significant step to acknowledge that effective and efficient renewable energy storage – the commercial capture of renewable energy to offset demand at a later time – can aid in the growth of wind and solar power and save ratepayers money. Massachusetts may become the third state to adopt a renewable energy storage mandate, following in the footsteps of California and Oregon. In August, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill, titled “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity,” that gives the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) the ability to mandate what the energy storage targets. Continue Reading Massachusetts Takes Big Step Towards Increasing Energy Storage