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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, 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 bipartisan bill 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, but the last extension of this credit will expire before December 31, 2019. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry. 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 has the potential to power every home, school and business from Florida to Maine with clean, renewable energy,” said Senator Carper. “Investing in new offshore wind projects spurs economic growth and has the potential to create millions of good-paying American jobs. It also helps enhance our national security by encouraging domestic energy production and protects our environment and public health by deploying a cleaner source of energy. I’m proud to partner with Senator Collins to provide this growing industry the certainty it needs to draw private sector investments in new offshore wind facilities across the country. Making smart investments to move us closer to energy independence is a win-win-win for our economy, our security, our health and our planet.”

“Maine is a leader in the emerging offshore wind industry, which holds great potential for the future of clean energy and the creation of good jobs,” said Senator Collins. “By giving private sector companies the certainty they need, our legislation will help accelerate the development of this promising industry in America 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.

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 Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Angus King (I-Maine), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

A detailed summary of the legislation can be found here and text of the legislation can be found here.