Wind Industry Gains Momentum with PTC Extension

Yahoo Contributor Network

Less than two weeks after the congressional renewal of the Production Tax Credit, the American Wind Energy Association reported on Friday that the industry "is back at work with a renewed momentum." With the extension of the tax credit covering all wind projects that start construction before 2014, a number of companies are now investing in jobs and projects that until New Year's Day were uncertain.

* American Wind Energy Association interim CEO Rob Gramlich stated on Friday, "Billions of dollars of investment sat idled by uncertainty that now can flow into new wind projects and our manufacturing sector. Congress has sent the necessary signal in extending the PTC and many are able to move ahead -- and America's energy consumers, manufacturing sector, and working families are the winners."

* The American Wind Energy Association referenced Boston-based First Wind, which announced on Tuesday that it plans to increase its operating portfolio of wind projects by 50 percent or more following the tax credit extension.

* According to Paul Gaynor, the CEO of First Wind, the company has several projects that will start construction by the end of 2013, meaning "jobs and investment, and consumers will be getting clean energy at a competitive price."

* The flurry of activity seen by the extension of the Production Tax Credit follows the flurry of activity seen by companies which were eager to start construction of projects before the credit expired in 2012. In the past year, wind energy was the most-installed new electrical generating capacity in America, First Wind reported. First Wind commissioned five new projects last year.

* Some of First Wind's new projects which may be ready for early construction by the end of the year include wind farms in Maine, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Hawaii.

* This week, Google has also announced a $200 million investment in the wind energy industry, in the 161-megawatt Spinning Spur wind farm in Oldham County, Tex.

* Spinning Spur will signal Google's first investment in Texas renewable energy, though the company currently has ten other renewable energy projects in its portfolio.

* The Spinning Spur project is 35 miles from Amarillo and was developed by EDF Renewable Energy.

* According to the American Wind Energy Association, big wind projects are also proceeding in Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota. In addition, St. Louis-based companies Emerson, electric component maker ABB and carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek are seeing benefits of the renewed activity that has resulted from the tax credit extension.

* "America's wind power industry is back on track," Gramlich said. "With a banner year behind us, we look forward to showing how wind energy can continue to strengthen America's energy future, and create jobs and business for our families and communities."

View Comments