The possible end to federal wind energy tax credits would not jeopardize the development of a proposed multi-million-dollar wind farm in Logan County, an official with the energy company said Thursday.
Stan Komperda, project manager of the proposed Sugar Creek Wind 1 farm, said the fate of Production Tax Credit (PTC), a bargaining chip in ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, will not have much of an impact locally.
The provision, which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from utility-scale turbines, is set to expire at the end of the year.
The subject is lodged among the raging fiscal cliff negotiations. The Republican side wants to allow the credit to expire as part of a massive spending cut plan.
Wind energy companies across the country say allowing the PTC to expire would cost jobs and set wind energy back nationally.
However, Komperda says it wouldn’t be that big of a deal as far as Logan County is concerned.
It’s power demand that would help guide Logan County into becoming the wind energy capital of Illinois.
“It certainly helps,” Komperda said. “Every little bit helps. But even if there’s a PTC, if there’s no power demand, what’s good is it going to do?”
He added that as coal plants throughout the Midwest go offline, purchase agreements with utilities will be the driving force of success.
“If the economy comes roaring back and we see improvements in the unemployment rate, then you’re going to see power use go up dramatically as businesses ramp up production,” Komperda said. “This presents a significant quantity of power that’s out there on the grid. That’s going to need to get made up with wind, and with gas.”
Komperda indicated that having an available source for affordable limestone is more important to the project than the PTC.
That issue is currently raging within the county board as a proposed limestone quarry near Broadwell has attracted zoning objectors fearing air, noise and traffic issues.
The county board is likely to rule on that Tuesday.
Komperda said that either way, the first construction phases of the project are set for late 2013.
“We still love Logan County, we still love Sugar Creek,” he said. “We’re getting our ducks in a row to get everything moving there.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding