NextEra turns tax credits into renewable fortune

Source: By Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

But it has steadily taken advantage of federal and state policies — particularly federal tax subsidies — to become the world’s biggest solar- and wind-farm operator.

NextEra, also the country’s most valuable utility, is likely to be the biggest generator of the $4.8 billion in renewable tax credits expected for this year. It often sells those credits on the market to other companies hoping to lower their tax bills, and has offset $401 million worth of taxes this way in the past three years.

The company was also quick to benefit from state renewable mandates enacted largely in the 2000s — a time when other wholesale electricity suppliers had been weakened by Enron Corp.’s bankruptcy.

“It was an open terrain, and NextEra looked around and said, let’s own this,” said Rob Gramlich, former head of government affairs for the American Wind Energy Association.

With federal wind credits set to expire in 2020, many analysts expect NextEra to focus more of its resources on solar development (Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal, June 18). — DI