GE Study Finds Tax Revenues from Wind Farms Offset Tax Incentive

GE Energy Financial Services has released a study estimating that the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind power that is set to expire December 31, 2008 more than pays for itself through tax revenues from the projects’ income, vendors’ profits and individual workers’ wages.

The study, which was released at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York estimated that wind farms built in 2007, which are supported by the PTC, carry a net present value benefit to the U.S. Treasury of US $250 million.

According to the study wind projects that went into operation last year generate federal income tax revenues from the projects, individual workers’ wages, vendors’ profits and land leases. They also provide federal tax revenue after 10 years, when the production tax credits expire.

In addition to those federal tax revenues, the wind projects generate an estimated US $6 million per year in local property taxes, US $15 million annually in state income taxes on wages and profits during construction and US $1.5 million per year in taxes while operating.

“Congress is debating how to pay for the wind tax credits perhaps without realizing that, over time, wind farms pump more money into the US Treasury and state and local coffers than they take out,” said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services, at the conference. “Our study shows that the wind farms more than pay for themselves through existing tax revenues, so it’s time to renew the incentives immediately.”

For the full study, from GE Energy Financial Services, click here.

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