U.S. Offshore WIND Act Back on the Table

U.S. Democratic Senators Edward Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressman Jim Langevin have reintroduced legislation that would extend tax credits for the offshore wind industry beyond 2019.

Photo: DOE/ Illustration

The Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (Offshore WIND) Act would extend the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind through 2025.

The 2015 omnibus bill extended the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for wind until 2019.

But because of the longer planning and permitting times currently needed for offshore wind, the Department of Energy has found that no additional offshore wind projects are projected to be able to qualify for these tax credits before they expire.

The first offshore wind project, developed by Deepwater Wind near Block Island, Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016 after being initiated nearly nine years ago.

“The WIND Act puts the ‘win’ in wind energy,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Offshore wind projects are a crucial part of America’s energy future. Offshore wind has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts and up and down the East Coast, encourage local innovation, and reduce carbon pollution. But in order to realize this potential, we need to provide this nascent industry the long-term certainty in the tax code that it needs.”

Other Senators co-sponsoring the legislation are Senators Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren, Jack Reed, Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown.

In April 2016, Senators Markey and Whitehouse led a group of Democratic Senators in calling on Senate leadership to extend tax programs to help spur the development of offshore wind energy.