Oklahoma House approves bill to slash wind power credits

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has voted without opposition to limit state tax incentives to wind power developers.

On March 2, the House voted 89-0 in favor of H.B. 1554. The bill, introduced by Oklahoma Rep. Earl Sears, R-District 11, would reduce zero-emission tax credits.

 The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for second reading, according to the Oklahoma Legislature website.

The measure sunsets the existing tax credit for electricity generated by zero emission facilities on Dec. 31, 2015, and establishes a new credit structure for assets placed in operation on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

After Dec. 31, 2025, any credits offered under the new structure would cease to exist.

An Oklahoma House bill summary indicated that as of February 2014 seven new wind projects are under construction and an additional eight are classified as proposed for a total of 15 wind facilities. “It is difficult to estimate the volume of electricity which will be generated, or when the electricity will be generated, so predicting the amount of credit is speculative at best,” according to the summary.

Tax incentives for renewable generation, often called too generous by other power providers, are under attack in a variety of state forums. Meanwhile, national renewable energy groups continue to seek a long-term extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) that benefits renewables.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.