AWEA Pushes for Rural Electric Coop Funding

June 4, 2004 [] In a letter sent this week to U.S. House of Representatives spending committee leaders, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) urged Congress to increase federal spending on the Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI). Created in 1992, REPI provides a payment to non-profit utilities and rural electric cooperatives of US 1.5 cent/kWh (indexed for inflation) of electricity produced from renewable energy projects. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) administers the program, which provides the only direct incentive for renewable energy production by public power and rural electric cooperatives. Since these organizations are tax-exempt, they cannot take advantage of the wind energy production tax credit. Unfortunately, the REPI program has historically been underfunded and an increase is necessary to allow the program to function as it was envisioned by Congress. The letter calls for a funding level of $13 million in fiscal year 2005, which is an increase of $9 million over the previous year.
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