The one-year production tax credit extension hasn’t added much wind to the sails of companies like Gamesa and EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc.
Representatives from these producers – two major players in Somerset County windmill development – expressed tempered expectations for 2013.
“(There are) no projects on the horizon in Somerset,” spokesman Kurt Knaus said on behalf of Gamesa.
The production tax credit for wind energy was extended as part of the 11th hour “fiscal cliff” agreement in U.S. Congress. Wind energy companies are essentially reimbursed for each megawatt hour they produce.
“We are grateful that Congress recognizes the vital role that American wind plays in energy generation and job creation,” Gamesa Vice President of Marketing David J. Rosenberg said in a statement. “Although we don’t expect an immediate impact, the approved extension for the production tax credit, which now applies to projects that start construction in 2013, should provide some policy certainty to the industry and help to restart projects that either had been postponed or canceled. The last year of uncertainty over the (tax credit) already has cost thousands of American jobs.
“Although not irreparable, recovery in 2013 will be slow, even with the (tax credit) extension. Because wind farms usually need 12 to 18 months for development, it will still be nearly two years before the industry sees significant recovery, as developers recall teams to restart dormant projects. Currently, there is no change in status at Gamesa’s U.S. factories.”
Mike Speerschneider – senior director of permitting and government affairs for EverPower Wind Holdings – said one positive is that the tax credit will apply to all projects completed or under construction in 2013. Language in the previous bill required the wind farm be completed, connected to the grid and producing power by the end of the 2012.
“It does help for late-stage projects,” he said.
“Obviously it helps for future development. (But) I would have liked to see something that provides a little more long-term certainty.”
EverPower Wind Holdings operates Twin Ridges, the largest windmill farm in Somerset County. The 68-turbine project is located in Southampton, Northampton, Larimer and Greenville townships on mixed use and forested lands owned by private landowners.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding