Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released a combined report that may help wind project developers understand which federal incentives will be most economical: PTC, ITC, or Cash Grant? An Analysis of the Choice Facing Renewable Power Projects in the United States.
Policy - Federal Level
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Now that Congress has passed and President Obama has signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, how will this help to stimulate Community Wind projects? According to Denise Bode, American Wind Energy Association CEO, "the stimulus bill contains a number of provisions aimed at helping our industry continue the very strong growth in new installations and new jobs we have seen over the past few years."
Released by the 25' X 25' Alliance, The Energy Foundation and Harvesting Clean Energy, this report makes clear that community wind must be an integral part of the nation's energy strategy and lays out a set of public policies designed to grow local wind investment and ownership.
Specifically, Community Wind 101 finds:
Briefing reports on the feasibility of the U.S. Department of Energy report "20% Wind Energy By 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply" are now available online.
2008 USDA Farm Bill
On May 22, 2008, Congress overrode the President's veto of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the "Farm Bill"). The Farm Bill is an investment in our nation's food and farm economy. It will ensure food security and promote healthier foods and local food networks, strengthen international food aid and reform commodity and farm programs, protect our natural resources and promote homegrown renewable energy.
This June/July 2007 article in Mother Earth News covers the basics of community wind and talks about the challenges to community wind in the U.S.
This April 2008 report from the New Rules Project discusses how simple changes to the federal production tax credit (PTC) and SEC registration process for cooperatives could significantly reduce barriers to community ownership of wind.
Download the report from the New Rules website here: http://www.newrules.org/de/ptc-wind-ownership.pdf
IRS bulletin 2007-45 (skip to page 967) provides a summary of IRS Rev Proc 2007-65 which establishes a safe harbor for the allocation of tax credits for wind projects that use a flip business structure.
The New Federal Tax Exempt Bonding Bill for Community Energy webinar was recorded on June 1, 2007.
The proposed Rural Community Renewable Energy Bonds Act (S. 672), introduced by Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), would provide tax exempt private purpose bonds to fund locally owned community energy projects, e.g. those under 40 MW with at least 49% local ownership. If enacted, this bill would give local community energy project developers a better alternative to federal renewable energy production tax credit funding.