New Hampshire groups opposing new large-scale “industrial wind” plants are working with their counterparts in other states in pushing Congress to end the Wind Protection Tax Credit, which they claim gives incentives to new wind-energy developers to build in the Granite State.
The tax credit, commonly referred to as the PTC, is part of a group of expiring tax breaks that could be extended by a vote of Congress in the coming days.
According to Lori Lerner, president of New Hampshire Wind Watch – a group that has opposed new wind-energy plant projects in New Hampshire and particularly in the Lakes Region – the PTC should be brought to an end.
“It is a federal tax subsidy that has enabled wind developers to develop projects in New Hampshire, which has marginal to poor wind resources,” Lerner said. “We need to act now to let our delegation know that we do not support any extension of the PTC.”
Wind Watch officials issued an “urgent call to action” on the matter last week, sending a letter to members and others on its mailing list that residents can sign and send to the state’s congressional representatives.
“There are people in 25 to 26 states sending these letters, and I’m hearing that it is making an impact,” Lerner said, adding that Wind Watch’s alert has had more than 360 responses from New Hampshire residents.
“The industry has been on notice for years that the 22-year-old PTC would expire and it has. We flatly reject policy actions by Congress, especially during this lame-duck session, to reinstate and extend the credit,” Wind Watch stated in its letter.
“The PTC provides project owners with a significant out-of-market revenue, which invokes predatory pricing practices that unfairly harm the economics of reliable-source generators. After 22 years of tax credits, the business of big wind is not about energy production. It’s about tax avoidance. Indeed, an entire financial-market ‘ecosystem’ has evolved around these subsidies … Wind energy will never be competitive with the price of the fuel it saves and would not sell but for the PTC.”
Wind Watch was among the groups opposing the Wild Meadows wind-power plant proposed for the Newfound Lake/Cardigan Mountain region.
The developers of that plant pulled out of their proposed investment in March, in part due to an “unfavorable” political climate for such projects in the state.
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