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Energy and Environment
Stories focused on energy & environment topics throughout the state of Kansas.

US Congress Renews Wind Energy Tax Credit

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Sean Sandefur
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KMUW/File photo

The Production Tax Credit, which kicks back millions of dollars to companies investing in wind energy, has been renewed by Congress.

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill on Friday that is likely to be signed into law by President Obama.

Included in the bill is an extension of the Production Tax Credit, which provides a roughly 2.5 cent per kilowatt hour incentive for the first 10 years of a renewable energy operation.

That translates to more than $1 million in tax relief for each wind turbine.

The decision to renew the Production Tax Credit is being welcomed by utility companies and renewable energy advocates.

“The PTC has encouraged tremendous investment in wind energy, helping to reduce the cost of wind power while simultaneously creating a new American industry,” said Siemens Onshore Americas CEO Jacob Anderson. “This extension will bolster the continued growth of domestic wind energy and the jobs this growing industry supports.”

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the PTC has helped quadruple wind power in the U.S. since 2008. When the PTC was allowed to expire briefly in 2013, installations of new wind farms fell 93 percent, according to AWEA.

Here in Kansas, the Production Tax Credit has helped build each wind turbine site used by Westar Energy.

The PTC is renewed through 2019, but will be scaled back each year. It will operate at 80 percent of its present value in 2017, 60 percent in 2018, and 40 percent in 2019.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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