Carper, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Spur Emerging Offshore Wind Industry

Bills would extend key investment tax credits for offshore projects

WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, which would provide critical financial incentives to encourage investment in offshore wind energy. This legislation would create an investment tax credit that is redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to approximately 600 wind turbines.

In the past, Congress has offered a temporary credit for investments in wind power, the last extension of this credit expired December 31, 2014. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry, but it has only been extended by periods of one and two years at a time. This leaves the offshore wind industry without the predictability it needs to fully take advantage of the incentive. The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology.

“Offshore wind energy will mean reliable, homegrown power, cleaner air, and good-paying American jobs – it’s a win-win-win,” Sen. Carper said. “Senator Collins and I have introduced this bill to help create the nurturing environment the industry needs to grow and thrive. Instead of yearly extensions of the investment tax credit that fall short, a credit for the first actors will encourage private sector development of offshore wind facilities across the country and help move the United States closer to energy independence.”

“This bipartisan legislation will help catalyze the offshore wind industry and create jobs in the United States,” Sen. Collins said. “This proposal will help give private sector companies the tax certainty they need to develop this industry in America past its infancy and create a new sustainable source of domestic power.”

The legislation defines offshore facilities as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the United States, including the territorial seas of the United States, the exclusive economic zone of United States, and the outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

A detailed summary of the legislation can be found here: /wp-content/uploads/archives/Incentivizing_Offshore_Wind_Power_Act2015_Summary.pdf 

The University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind estimates that the Atlantic coast holds 330 gigawatts of offshore wind power – enough to meet all electricity needs of the East Coast. The expansion of America’s offshore wind industry would provide not only an opportunity to protect the environment and grow the nation’s economy, but it would also create large scores of new jobs for people living in areas near the coast.

Joining Senators Carper and Collins are Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).