The recently passed fiscal cliff legislation included a one year extension of a wind tax credit, a welcome move for developers in Vermont. The credit is being renewed at the same time that a pair of state senators are calling for a moratorium on wind development.
The 2-point-2 cent per kilowatt hour Production Tax Credit had expired at the end of 2012, and many wind developers had scrambled to complete projects in order to take full advantage of the federal funds. But a one year extension was slipped into, and approved, as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act that was passed late Tuesday.
NRG Systems in Hinesburg VT manufactures turbine sensors and wind monitoring systems. President and CEO Jan Blittersdorf Blomstrann says the year long extension is crucial to the viability of the wind industry as a whole.
Green Mountain Power has completed several wind projects including the controversial Lowell Mountain project in the Northeast Kingdom. Spokesman Robert Dostis is hopeful that a change included in the extension will help the industry.
On Thursday afternoon two Vermont state Senators, Robert Hartwell of Bennington County and Joe Benning of Caledonia County, announced that they are introducing legislation that would impose a three year moratorium on large scale wind development. Senator Benning says his effort began after seeing construction on the Lowell Mountain wind project.
Renewable Energy Vermont calls the moratorium proposal misguided.