Last week, the Senate Finance Committee passed legislation that would extend the production tax credit for wind turbines. The tax credit is due to expire at the end of the year unless Congress passes an extension and the President signs it. The provision is part of a package of tax measures being referred to as “extenders.” While the production tax credit still has many hurdles to overcome, the Finance Committee’s passage of the of the provision is clearly a positive development. The legislation included a number of other energy related provisions as well. These provisions can be reviewed at: http://bit.ly/NQ9NoA.
One provision that was not included in the extenders package was a continuation of the bonus depreciation for small wind generation (100kW or less). This is unfortunate since there is now a product called the Honeywell Windtronics Wind Turbine this capable of providing 15% of a resideential property’s energy needs with less than 5 mph winds. While residential use is beneficial, the reall opportunties for larger scale use of these small wind turbines are with commercial buildings where a larger number could mounted higher to take advantage of unused rooftop areas. The bonus depreciation allows the companies to fund these in a way that encourages rapid adoption of the technology. Seen in the picture below, these wind turbines could be used to supplement power supplies when the wind is blowing at only 2 mph. Hopefully, the bonus depreciation can be added to the extenders before the end of the year. Congress may soon be working on such a measure.