Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from USA
MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua County Legislature approved a resolution requesting the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency not to approve further PILOT agreements for wind energy projects larger than five megawatts rated-capacity Wednesday night.
If the state has been reimbursing county school districts for wind’s ad valorem taxes, then this has not expanded the total funds to school districts at all; it has just forced the state to transfer dollars from the General Revenue Fund that otherwise would have been earmarked for school districts across the state to those rural districts near wind facilities. Robbing Peter to pay Paul does nothing to help education.
Legislative panels on Thursday passed House Bill 3710, which would put a $35 million cap on the zero emission tax credit. Last year, lawmakers decided to sunset the tax credit in 10 years for new production. The clock began ticking July 1.
Two bills, one in the House and another in the Senate, have proposed capping the state's zero emission tax credit. In 2016, Oklahoma paid $74 million in zero emission tax credits, which the legislature is proposing to cap at $5 million or $10 million.
Yates said the legislators don’t understand that the tax credits were built into the business models when the wind industry companies won state approval to build wind farms in Oklahoma. “These projects are not profitable for the first 12 years of existence,” he explained. The Wind Coalition leader said for the state to go back and change the rules “of the game so dramatically after these projects are already up and spinning, the investment is there and now to go back in and change is devastating.”
McBride is proposing a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind power, as well as eliminating the industry’s manufacturing sales tax exemption. Other lawmakers want to cap incentives already awarded to existing projects. After 20 years, McBride said it’s time to stop subsidizing the wind industry.
The [wind] industry faces the loss of federal development initiatives after 2020, a timetable that spurred the industry to initiate these mega-projects in the first place and place big bets on these enormous farms instead of smaller, quicker projects. ...This transitory surge poses a dilemma to equipment providers and specialized logistics handlers alike: How do they gear up for an expected building spree knowing that it will most likely be short-lived?
With less tax-equity investments, smaller companies like PosiGen may lose out to more established developers. For PosiGen, it means turning to a different class of investors. “We can’t get past banks’ credit committees anymore,” Neyhart said. “We’re talking to more family offices.”
“The department concedes that customers taking net metering services directly receive the benefits of the net metering system,” the DPU said in its ruling. “The costs of net metering, however, are borne by all electric customers, whether or not they receive net metering credits. Consequently, there is a transfer of costs rooted in the net metering system.”
But the impressive growth of renewable power requires an asterisk — that subsidies are largely responsible for it. A billion-dollar net worth is less impressive if the first $900 million is inherited. And even with such lavish subsidies, wind and solar power still account for only 7 percent of total U.S. electricity generation.
Wind energy advocates are speaking out as lawmakers confirm one piece of their proposed budget plan includes placing a gross production tax on wind energy. The tax could be 4 percent for 36 months and 7 percent after that.
Lawyers and accountants in the renewable energy industry are poring over the details of the tax overhaul President Trump signed into law last week, trying to figure out what companies will lose or gain.
MidAmerican Energy won a favorable ruling from South Dakota regulators Tuesday for its wind turbines already spinning — but in Iowa.
According to the final tax reform bill released on Friday, subsidies for electric cars, wind farms, and solar panels will be preserved.
Solar energy advocates are asking a state court to overturn a decision by the Montana Public Service Commission that reduced the price for electricity generated at small renewable energy power plants.
It’s become a national leader in wind-power generation, but in deep-red, oil-rich Texas, many conservatives still turn a skeptical eye toward renewable energy — despite growth numbers that dwarf virtually every other sector of the economy.
Both wind and solar power remain troublingly intermittent — and require backup generation from gas and coal for every moment when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. As such, they remain expensive and cumbersome forms of power generation. And while their market share has grown impressively, they still only contribute 7 percent to America’s total electricity needs. In short, they are by themselves unreliable for an economy that needs power in all conditions, and at all times of day.
But because of those exemptions, almost $630 million of wind-farm equipment will never be taxed. If it were, it would generate around $82 million a year for the 24 rural counties with wind farms.
The following letter will be sent to Congressional Leaders and those Senate and House Republicans now working to reconcile the two tax bills.
The Senate bill should serve as the PTC/ITC blueprint for the final bill. Any changes recommended by the conference committee should be addressed swiftly and fall within the envelope of the Senate bill. This is an important step, but only first step, toward a level-playing-field between electrical energies that will, longer term, improve grid reliability coast-to-coast, border-to-border.