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INDUSTRY NEWS HEADLINES April/May 2013 Production Tax Credit Extension


Keeps Wind Power Blowing—for Now  Last-minute deal by Congress keeps renewables investments viable for the short term NRECA, WASHINGTON,


D.C.—Under the short-term “fiscal cliff” agreement passed Jan. 1, Congress agreed to extend the production tax credit (PTC) for wind turbines and other renewable energy projects that begin construction before this year ends. The tax break helps lower the cost of power from these facilities to be more competitive with conventional fuels, like coal or natural gas. As written, for-profit


companies can qualify for a 2.2 cents per kWh PTC. Electric cooperatives, as not-for-profit utilities, are not eligible for PTCs but were able to use Clean Renewable Energy Bonds or form taxable entities eligible to receive payments covering 30 percent of a project’s capital costs. Now, to benefit from the credit, electric co-ops must sign agreements to buy electricity from private-sector wind projects or arrange long-


term leasing agreements with a developer that qualifies for the federal incentives. Originally enacted as part


of the federal Energy Policy Act of 1992, the PTC has been extended four times and, on three occasions (1999, 2001, and 2003), has been allowed to sunset. This on-again/off- again status contributes to a boom-bust development cycle for the wind power industry. Despite this, developers have managed to build wind farms totaling more than 51,000 MW in potential generating capacity. It’s uncertain whether the


PTC will be extended again beyond the end of 2013. As Congress faces tough fiscal decisions, wind industry leaders have said they are willing to accept a gradual phase-out of the PTC as soon as 2018 and will consider other ways to leverage financing for new turbine construction.


Norman, Oklahoma


April 18, 2013: Nat'l Lineman Appreciation


Day–One Day Only Introduced April 10 by Senators


Isakson (R-GA) and Bennet (D-CO) and passed late in the evening April 16 by unanimous consent, this bill recognized the profession of linemen and their contributions to protecting public safety, expresseing support for the designation of April 18, 2013, as National Lineman Appreciation Day. The bill passed as a once only


event and will not reoccur in subsequent years unless another bill is introduced.


Okla. Ranked 4th in


Wind Power Installation Rod Walton, TULSA WORLD—


Wind farm projects involving utilities, private investment, a public university and cooperatives lifted Oklahoma into fourth place for new wind power installation in 2012, according to a national report released April 11. The state added 1,127 megawatts


of wind capacity last year. Oklahoma also jumped several spots to rank sixth overall with 3,135 MW, which is about 10.5 percent of total electrical generation in the state.


News Magazine 5


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