Friday, August 4, 2017

Can Congress help get wind energy whirling off NJ coast?

Bipartisan legislation that would extend tax credits for investments in the renewable energy could give
state’s efforts at offshore wind a lift

wind turbine
Tom Johnson reports
for NJ Spotlight:
In a push to spur development of an offshore wind industry, bipartisan legislation to extend tax credits for investments in the renewable energy in coastal and other waters across the United States is now before Congress.
If enacted, the legislation could be significant for New Jersey, because its efforts to develop offshore wind farms have stalled, allowing other states on the Eastern Seaboard to take the lead.
It was seven years ago later this month that Gov. Chris Christie signed with fanfare a bill aimed at promoting the sector, but his administration cooled on the policy, never implementing a key aspect of the law. Now offshore wind developers say it could be 2023 before wind turbines are producing electricity off the coast.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Tom Carver a Democrat from Delaware and Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, would extend an investment tax credit that is only available to projects that start construction before December 31, 2019.
Under the bill, a 30 percent tax credit on the investment in offshore wind would be provided to the first 3,000 megawatts that come into service, a provision likely to benefit the two developers seeking to build wind farms off the Jersey coast.
“Investing in clean, renewable energy sources like wind is both good for the economy and our environment,’’ said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a sponsor of the bill. “New Jersey, with its vast Atlantic shoreline, is well-positioned to benefit from this legislation.’’

Read the full story here

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