Senators roll out bipartisan bill promoting offshore projects

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced a bipartisan bill yesterday aimed at boosting offshore wind power.

The “Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act” would establish an investment tax credit for offshore wind projects, letting power producers claim a 30 percent tax credit on the first 3,000 megawatts generated at offshore energy facilities.

The measure defines “offshore” as navigable inland federal waters, coastal waters surrounding the U.S. territories and the outer continental shelf.

Collins said the financial incentive would spur growth in the offshore wind industry and create new energy sector jobs.

“This proposal will help give private sector companies the tax certainty they need to develop this industry in America past its infancy and create a new sustainable source of domestic power,” Collins said in a statement.

Congress passed an extension of the production tax credit for wind power late last year, but the credit, which covered wind projects that started construction before the end of December, expired at the end of 2014.

The tax deal followed a pattern of temporary, last-minute extensions that have stymied the wind sector’s development, Carper said.

“Senator Collins and I have introduced this bill to help create the nurturing environment the industry needs to grow and thrive,” Carper said in a statement.

Twelve Senate Democrats and Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, have signed onto the current legislation, which comes as lawmakers prepare to debate a new package of tax extenders that could include investment and production tax credits for wind and solar (E&E Daily, July 9).