Thursday, March 01, 2007

American Wind Energy Association Applauds Proposed Incentive For Home, Small Business Wind Systems

Move by Senator Ken Salazar and co-sponsors opens way for federal tax credit for consumers purchasing a small wind systemFebruary 28, 2007 --

The American Wind Energy Association today praised Senators Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) for introducing legislation that would allow purchasers of a small wind system to receive a credit on their taxes for a portion of the turbine’s cost.

The “Rural Wind Energy Development Act” (S. 673) would provide a federal tax credit of $1,500 per ½ kilowatt (kW) of capacity to purchasers of small wind systems nationwide. This five-year credit would apply to all wind systems with capacities of under 100 kW used to power individual homes, farms, or small businesses. Joining Salazar and Smith as original co-sponsors of the bill were Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

“There is a great satisfaction in generating your own electricity, and doing so in a way that reduces global warming emissions and strengthens the country’s energy security,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “The bill proposed by Senators Salazar and Smith empowers consumers and is good energy policy.”

AWEA Small-Wind Advocate Ron Stimmel noted that the bill’s introduction is a positive development for small wind. “This would be the first federal incentive in 20 years to help individuals – homeowners, farmers, and small business owners - buy a small wind turbine,” said Stimmel. The credit would help bring down the up-front cost of purchasing a system and spur a market that is growing, but remains well below what industry experts believe is its full potential.

The bill would also allow the credit to be carried over—meaning that in the event that using the credit reduces the consumer’s taxable income below the minimum threshold, the unusable excess credit would be carried over to the next tax year. This provision essentially allows a consumer with a low annual income to take full advantage of the credit. The bill would also provide for an accelerated depreciation of three years for small wind turbines.

AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The association's membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available at the AWEA web site: www.awea.orgSource: AWEA