The uncertainity over federal subsidies to the wind energy industry is why plans to build a $40 million plant near Cheyenne that would produce towers for wind turbines have been delayed, according to industry observers.
“Industrywide we are seeing a slowdown in orders for towers and turbines after 2012 that is rippling down the supply chain and the big issue is the lack of certainty around the production tax credit that gives a favorable low tax rate to renewable energy,” Peter Kelley, spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association, said Friday.
At the heart of the issue is whether the Production Tax Credit will be extended by the federal government at the end of 2012. Recently, a broad, nonpartisan coalition of 369 members, including manufacturing, farm and business interests, has issued a letter endorsing a four year extension to wind energy’s key federal tax incentive.
Legislation recently introduced by Representatives Dave Reichert (R, WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-03) seeks to grant a four-year extension to the existing Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy (H.R. 3307, the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act”).
Signatories to the letter include the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, the Western Governors’ Association, the United Steelworkers and many members of the environmental community.