More than 50 House Republicans, including the third-ranking member of the party’s leadership, are renewing a call to end a key wind energy tax credit. A letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and newly elected Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argues the production tax credit (PTC) has outlived its useful life and distorts wholesale energy markets — claims that have been leveled against the wind industry for years from a coalition of free-market activist groups and elements of the nuclear industry.
Canada’s top environmental agency is set to employ new technology that would counteract the radar disruptions caused by wind farms. The movement of wind turbines can sometimes mimic weather in Doppler radar systems, confusing meteorologists trying to make weather forecasts and even blocking radar signals in extreme cases.
The Obama administration is ramping up efforts to expand offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina, an area that previous studies estimated could support nearly 300,000 megawatts of power production. The Interior Department today said it has established three so-called wind energy areas off the North Carolina coast, totaling about 307,590 acres, which would be potentially suitable for commercial-scale wind power production.
The Obama administration continues to move a massive wind farm project that proposes to string together 1,000 turbines across nearly 220,000 acres of public and private lands in southeast Wyoming closer to construction. The Bureau of Land Management this week issued a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) of some of the infrastructure projects needed to build the massive Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, which would have the capacity to produce up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity, making it the biggest power-producing wind farm in North America.
The wind industry is touting increased construction activity and power purchases from some of the country’s largest companies to argue for an extension of its key federal incentive — amid an uncertain political landscape that could be heavily influenced by the outcome of November’s election for control of the Senate.
Work will continue through winter. Frozen ground actually facilitates work in marshy terrain, he said. The new line will improve reliability of electrical service in Fargo and will help to move power from North Dakota wind farms and, during winter, from Minnesota power plants to Fargo, he said.
America’s solar market boom has outshined other renewables in recent news, but the latest wind industry update is a reminder new turbines can save money and boost economies across the country – despite doldrums caused by federal policy inaction.
The IRS on Friday clarified how it will evaluate companies hoping to take advantage of an expired renewable energy tax credit. The IRS guidance is expected to increase the number of firms willing to move forward with projects comfortable they would be eligible for the production tax credit (PTC) or investment tax credit (ITC) for wind, geothermal, biomass and other projects. The credit expired at the end of last year, but developers are still eligible as long as they started construction or sufficiently invested in the project in 2013.
New England could be a model for tackling carbon emissions as the Obama administration pushes for national reductions in greenhouses gases, said a U.S. EPA official. Curt Spalding, EPA administrator for Region 1 in New England, praised the nine Northeastern states for the progress they had made in reducing emissions. They have seen their gross domestic product grow 22 percent and have reduced emissions by 20 percent since 1999, he said.
“I hear some states are considering all options including that one,” he said. “We have not even begun to consider how we will respond to a final rule. Instead, we will continue to work through the process to encourage EPA to modify the rule to accurately follow the Clean Air Act and not dramatically expand federal control over state implementation approach.” He reiterated in the email that Texas would challenge what he called EPA’s “overreach” in the rule. “However, it is much too early to suggest that would be through suing EPA,” he said. “We are still working through the administrative process to encourage EPA to improve the rule.”