AWEA Applauds Proposed Wind System Incentives

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) praised Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) for introducing legislation that would allow purchasers of small wind systems to receive a credit on their taxes for a portion of the turbine’s cost.

The Rural Wind Energy Development Act (S. 673) would provide a federal tax credit of $1,500 per one-half kilowatt (1/2 kW) of capacity to purchasers of small wind systems nationwide, including both homes and small business. This five-year credit would apply to all wind systems with capacities of less than 100 kW used to power individual homes, farms, or small businesses. Joining Salazar and Smith as original co-sponsors of the bill were Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Larry Craig (R-ID). “There is a great satisfaction in generating your own electricity, and doing so in a way that reduces global warming emissions and strengthens the country’s energy security,” said Randall Swisher, AWEA Executive Director. “The bill proposed by Senators Salazar and Smith empowers consumers and is good energy policy.” AWEA Small-Wind Advocate Ron Stimmel noted that the bill’s introduction is a positive development for small wind. “This would be the first federal incentive in 20 years to help individuals — homeowners, farmers, and small business owners — buy a small wind turbine,” said Stimmel. The credit would help bring down the upfront cost of purchasing a system and spur a market that is growing, but remains well below what industry experts believe is its full potential. The bill would also allow the credit to be carried over — meaning that in the event that using the credit reduces the consumer’s taxable income below the minimum threshold, the unusable excess credit would be carried over to the next tax year. This provision essentially allows a consumer with a low annual income to take full advantage of the credit. The bill would also provide for an accelerated depreciation of three years for small wind turbines.

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