US Treasury to tweak tax credit deadlines for renewables projects

A concise three-sentence letter sent by the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday suggests relief is on the way for a renewables industry concerned about meeting quickly approaching tax credit deadlines.

The letter came in response to a late April appeal from a bipartisan group of senators, who asked that the Department extend deadlines for solar and wind developers looking to qualify projects for the investment tax credit and production tax credit. Treasury informed the senators that it “plans to modify the relevant rules in the near future.”

That statement, though short on detail, should offer breathing room for developers scrambling to keep projects on track as COVID-19-fueled delays throw schedules into disarray.  

Under existing safe-harbor provisions, solar developers must begin construction or invest a certain amount of cash by a specific date to qualify projects. Wind developers, meanwhile, had to finish construction by the end of 2020 to secure the full production tax credit [for projects that had “begun” construction in 2016 NWW]. The timelines of both credits put pressure on developers thrown a curveball as the pandemic began shutting down states across the U.S.

In their letter, Senators had asked that the Treasury offer a “temporary extension of the continuity safe harbor of five years, in lieu of the current four.”

The American Council on Renewable Energy said a change from Treasury would be “immensely helpful” to the industry in coping with current conditions.

“The renewable sector has been hit hard these last couple of months by supply chain disruptions, shelter-in-place orders and other significant pandemic-related delays,” said Gregory Wetstone, the group’s president and CEO, in a statement.

The American Wind Energy Association, an industry group, also applauded the indication that Treasury would modify the deadlines.

The renewables industry has been lobbying for the change, which will give developers more time and flexibility in meeting the requirements of the tax credit. The coronavirus has upended some development timelines and led some renewables companies to issue “force majeure” claims. 

Some portions of the renewables industry, such as the Solar Energy Industries Association, have also been pushing for an extension of the tax credits, which would make them applicable in more years. But clean energy organizations have held up the deadline change as an alternative form of relief.

Winning a fix through Treasury rather than a legislative extension of tax credits cuts Congress out of the equation. And with lawmakers negotiating emergency health provisions and working to stanch economic calamity, the renewables industry was navigating how to make its priorities heard while recognizing the current emphasis on public health and safety.

Though Treasury was light on details in the letter, Ravi Manghani, head of solar research at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said the change could be significant.

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Comment by Jim Wiegand on May 9, 2020 at 7:25pm

For the public details are always scarce, but with these tax thieves, it is heavily discussed with our sociopath leaders in backrooms. 

In China the people have no choice, in America we just think we do.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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