Hydro, wind blade manufacturers to get federal tax help

The U.S. Department of Energy on Dec. 12 announced $150m in clean energy tax credits to build U.S. capabilities in clean energy manufacturing, including hydroelectric turbines.

The credits will go towards investments in domestic manufacturing equipment by 12 businesses. Through the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program (48C Program), these awards will help create thousands of jobs across the country and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market.

“Cost-effective, efficient manufacturing plays a critical role in continuing U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, and the tax credits announced today will help reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and buildings; create new jobs and supply more clean energy projects in the United States and abroad with equipment made in America,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The President’s Climate Action Plan laid out steady action to cut carbon pollution in the United States, including deploying clean energy, building a 21st century transportation sector and cutting energy waste in homes, businesses and factories. The 48C Program supports this overall strategy to slow the effects of climate change, while continuing American leadership in clean energy innovation.

The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit authorized Treasury to provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30% for the manufacture of particular types of energy equipment. Funded at $2.3bn, the tax credit was made available to 183 domestic clean energy manufacturing facilities during Phase I of the program. The Dec. 12 Phase II awards were launched to utilize $150m in tax credits that were not used by the previous awardees and support projects that must be placed in service by 2017.

These awards include domestic manufacturing of a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency products – from hydropower and wind energy to smart grid technologies to fuel efficient vehicles.

Natel Energy, for example, makes low-head, high-flow hydroelectric turbines for new, distributed, utility-scale hydropower projects as well as for retrofitting dams and irrigation canals. With more than $2m in 48C Program tax credits, Natel is equipping a manufacturing facility on California’s former Alameda Naval Air Station. The facility will produce 200 turbines annually – representing roughly 90 MW of capacity – to enable environmentally friendly hydropower development worldwide.

Also, LM Wind Power Blades (ND) Inc. will get $700,000 to re-equip its Grand Forks, N.D., facility for increased participation in the large-blade market.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.