The United States Senate voted down an amendment to the Surface Transportation Bill on Tuesday that would have given a one-year extension to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power. That tax credit — 2.2 cents per kWh of wind energy produced — this credit is set to expire at the end of this year.
Further Thumb Growth in Wind Doubtful
Without this bill providing tax credit’s to an emerging technology its highly unlikely that future growth in renewables will proceed. The Michigan Thumb region is anticipating investments exceeding over $500 million in the Thumb Loop Project to offer up to 2,500 potential wind turbines the capability to transport for energy transmission to market. The failure of this bill may put in jeopardy the total project investment along with 1000s of leases secured by wind farm developers over the past several years.
Thumb Could Lose Anticipated Tax Revenue
Efforts by State Rep Kurt Damrow to introduce the Alternative Commercial Energy Systems (ACES) could also be put in jeopardy if the PTC extension does not pass this year. ACES was viewed as a response to replacement for the personal property on tax wind developments which reduced local tax revenue. ACES would effectively replace a portion of those lost revenues.
The senate vote on the Surface Transportation Bill was 49 to 49 and fell along party lines, with Republicans opposing the amendment. It needed 60 votes to pass.