Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Kansas

Giving Away the (Wind) Farm

Wind farms have offered less of an economic boon than the industry had promised ...“Some studies produced by consultants assumed larger spillovers from the wind projects to the local economy. Our research showed that the spillovers were likely to be much smaller than their assumptions.” [T]he majority of the economic effect of wind farms benefits local landowners who lease plots to the farms.
5 Dec 2017

Kansas Senate panel considers cutting renewable energy tax break

Kansas companies that produce energy from wind, solar or other renewable resources would lose their property tax exemption under a bill discussed by a Senate panel Monday. Such companies have been exempt from property tax since 1999. A bill discussed by the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee would instead give those companies a 10-year exemption starting with the launch date of each project.
16 Mar 2015

Not in Kansas anymore: Politics threaten state's wind energy market

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Kansas is leading the U.S. in new wind farm installations this year. By the end of the year, eight new utility-scale wind projects will come online - representing approximately $3 billion in new investment - and the state will have more than doubled its installed wind power by adding 1.489 GW of new wind power capacity.
6 Sep 2012

Huelskamp unyielding on wind credit

"There's no money tree in Washington, D.C.," responded Huelskamp, opposed to renewing the subsidy set to expire at the end of the year. They pressed him about his support for other incentives benefitting agriculture and oil and gas. He criticized the comparison and defended his stand. ...Reno County resident Wayne Johnson told Huelskamp it was refreshing that Huelskamp was "holding firm."
16 Jun 2012

Let the wind-power tax credit expire

Wind power is horizon blight. It's also what economists call rent-seeking. "Rents" are what you get when you're a political crony and you convince the government to take money from others and give it to you. The country would be better off with fewer rent-seekers feeding on the federal budget.
25 Mar 2012

Tax break's end a blow to wind power in Kansas

It's still possible that a wind subsidy might work its way out of the Senate yet this year, but the U.S. House of Representatives is another matter. The House includes a large contingent of staunch conservative budget hawks and opponents of alternative energy subsidies, including U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita. He said the House is highly unlikely to pass any bill with alternative energy subsidies.
18 Mar 2012

Officials ask for end to wind tax break

Wind turbines in Kansas could be taxed by the state and local governments under legislation supported Friday by a group of western Kansas officials. A bill before the House Taxation Committee would eliminate the lifetime property tax exemption granted in 1998 to renewable energy resources and technologies. The Kansas Legislative Policy Group, a coalition of 30 county commissions in western Kansas, offered the sole testimony in support of the change Friday.
28 Feb 2009

Facing reality of wind energy

Iberdrola of Spain, owner of Elk River, realized over $9.9 million in PTC allowances in 2007. Foreign companies are not regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission. There are no state or federal regulations of any kind on WECS. Few Kansas counties have wind regulations. WECS will force consumers to pay for their electricity three times; to build the WECS, build conventional power as backup, and additional transmission lines to carry power from the WECS to the grid. WECS will not produce large economic benefits to a community as evidenced by records from Gray County (Montezuma), or Butler County (Elk River). Elk River has produced seven jobs. Most employees live outside the community.
11 Aug 2008

Wind credit extension gets push

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius spent a day this week in Houston, the city of big oil, to promote another energy source -- big wind. In her speech Monday to the annual convention of the American Wind Energy Association, Sebelius called on the federal government to renew its production tax credit for wind energy due to expire at year's end. She urged Congress: "Make it clear to investors that this incentive will last for several years." The governor's message echoes a concern of wind developers, who complain they can't make plans to build in places such as Kansas without a multi-year tax credit in place to boost their emerging industry. The U.S. Senate recently approved a single-year extension, but the bill remains pending in the House.
8 Jun 2008

Westar trims wind plans after regulatory decision

A decision by the Kansas Corporation Commission has led Westar Energy, Inc. to suspend plans to develop 200 MW of wind power by the end of 2010. ...The company said the order also indicated that in the future wind generation could be subject to "undefined operating standards" and "potential financial penalties" that have not been imposed on other forms of generation. ...In its order, the commission said it concluded the circumstances do not justify allocating to ratepayers the cost of an additional 1 percent return on investment in light of the uncertainties inherent in wind generation and the narrow margins as to whether purchased power agreements or ownership is more costly. The commission also said an incentive mechanism to maximize wind energy output is not necessary at this time. It plans to revisit the issue in two years.
31 Dec 2007

Wind plan reviewed; Regulators deem Westar plan 'prudent' but won't raise profits

State regulators are saying Westar Energy Inc.'s plans to invest in wind power are prudent but aren't allowing the utility to increase its profits. The Kansas Corporation Commission's decision created uncertainty about Westar's plans to invest in 295 megawatts of generating capacity from wind farms in three counties, enough to power 88,000 homes. ...Construction costs and the fact that wind doesn't blow consistently means that electricity from wind turbines more expensive per kilowatt hour in the short term than power from coal-fired plants. But commission spokeswoman Rosemary Foreman said Westar shareholders' risk was lessened because regulators will permit the utility to recover its investments in wind farms through its rates. "The commission just didn't think it justified, the ratepayers paying an additional cost," she said. "The risk to the company is minimized."
28 Dec 2007

Energy investments - Not risk-free; Wind power has potential, but ratepayers shouldn't bear entire weight of developing it

Let's face it: Most homeowners don't buy wind generators or solar energy systems simply for environmental reasons. They make the investments because they're banking on a payoff in the form of lower energy costs. Westar Energy is no different in wanting a bang for its green-energy bucks, which is why it's seeking a rate increase to support an $830 million wind energy project. But just how much of a payoff should Westar receive? And at what risk? ...To some extent, it's reasonable to place the cost of wind power on the shoulders of ratepayers. After all, wind could provide Kansans with an abundant, environmentally friendly energy source to offset the cost of fossil fuels. Westar and its stockholders should be given the chance to obtain a fair return on the company's investment. At the same time, though, the company bears a responsibility for keeping cost increases to a minimum for its customers.
5 Dec 2007
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