Multi-billion-dollar wind farm won’t expand in 2013 without PTC extension

Wind farm developer Terra-Gen Power, which is working on development of what is ultimately planned to be a project of more than 3,000 MW in California, said it will not go forward with expansion in 2013 if the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) is not extended by Congress, according to Platts Electric Power Daily.

Terra-Gen’s Alta Wind project in Tehachapi, Calif., is expected to reach 1,320 MW by year’s end, the article said. The wind farm as originally envisioned, it added, is a major building block toward California meeting its state renewable energy standard goal.

Said the article, "Terra-Gen is in much the same position as other big wind farm developers such as NextEra Energy Resources, Iberdrola Renewables and Horizon Wind Energy, which have each said they will not be building new wind farms next year without the PTC.

"Spokesman Greg Wetstone said Friday that Terra-Gen’s expansion of Alta Wind in 2013 ‘is very much contingent on Congress passing the PTC extension.’"

The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 105 cosponsors, including 24 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, and the Toledo Blade.

Tom Gray,