US Offshore WIND Act Gets Another Go

Senator of Massachusetts Edward J. Markey, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin have reintroduced legislation said to spur the growth of offshore wind in the U.S. by extending tax credits for the renewable energy industry.

Illustration. Source: David Dixon under the CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

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

Offshore wind projects that are qualified for the energy credit include those whose construction begins before 1 January 2026, the bill states.

“Offshore wind projects are a crucial part of America’s clean energy future, creating tens of thousands of jobs up and down the East Coast and reducing carbon pollution. In order to harness this potential, we need to provide this burgeoning industry the long-term certainty in the tax code that it needs,” said Senator Markey.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the federal investment tax credit for offshore wind is set to phase out this year without congressional action and thus policy stability is crucial.

“Without Congressional action, the federal Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind is set to phase out this year—just as the first wave of large-scale offshore wind projects prepare to begin construction,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO. “At this critical moment for a new U.S. energy industry, policy stability is more important than ever.”

Others co-sponsoring the legislation include Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

To remind, Markey, Whitehouse and Langevin reintroduced the legislation back in May 2017, after leading a group of Democratic Senators the year before in calling on leadership to extend tax programs to help stimulate the development of offshore wind.

A 2015 omnibus bill extended the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and ITC until 2019, but offshore energy development takes more planning and permitting time and no offshore wind projects are projected to be able to qualify for the credit before expiration.