Iowa lawmakers call for extension of wind tax credits

Source: Bt Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014

Iowa representatives in Washington joined more than 140 other lawmakers Friday to call for extensions of a pair of tax credits to help wind energy.

The investment tax credit and production tax credit, which both support on-shore and off-shore wind-energy developments, expired at the end of 2013. In a pair of separate letters, lawmakers in both the House and Senate encouraged leaders in Congress to extend the credits that help create jobs and promote renewable energy. Iowa generates 25 percent of its electricity by wind power, the most of any state.

which both support on-shore and off-shore wind-energy developments, expired at the end of 2013. In a pair of separate letters, lawmakers in both the House and Senate encouraged leaders in Congress to extend the credits that help create jobs and promote renewable energy. Iowa generates 25 percent of its electricity by wind power, the most of any state.

“Like all businesses, the wind industry seeks certainty and predictability so that long-term project decisions and investments can be made,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a bipartisan letter signed by nearly two dozen other senators.

“Without that stability, we once again risk losing many of the jobs, infrastructure and investment that the wind industry has created. Furthermore, we risk weakening our national energy security by failing to foster such an important source of clean, domestic energy.”

Iowa Reps. Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, and Steve King, a Republican, signed a similar letter in the House.

In the Hawkeye State, a total 16 projects are under construction. Most are small projects with the exception of four by MidAmerican Energy Co., which announced last May it would boost wind generation, consisting of up to 656 new turbines, by the end of 2015.

The recent credit provided a 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour benefit for electricity generated from utility-scale turbines during the first 10 years of a facility’s operation. Renewable energy projects that started construction before Dec. 31, 2014 were eligible for the tax credit.

The American Wind Energy Association said the bipartisan support for wind energy reflects the fact that all 50 states have either utility-scale wind farms or factories, representing 70 percent of congressional districts.

“This industry has not only created over 80,000 well-paying jobs for Americans across every state, but we are bringing an influx of investment to rural communities, offering farmers and ranchers a drought-resistant cash crop, and helping keep electricity rates down,” said Tom Kiernan, chief executive with the American Wind Energy Association “This is an American success story that deserves to be continued.”