Cross-party bill supports US offshore tax incentive

 UNITED STATES: Senators from both major US political parties have introduced a bill to provide tax incentives to early investors in offshore wind in the US.

Tom Carper, Democratic senator for Delaware and Susan Collins, Republican senator for Maine, introduced the bill to the Senate late last week.

The Carper-Collins Incentivising Offshore Wind Power Act would create a 30% investment offshore wind tax credit for the first 3GW of offshore capacity installed in the US.

Under the terms of the draft legislation, the US Treasury would decide who is eligible for the tax credit. If awarded, companies would be required to install and commission the offshore wind project within five years.

Companies that receive the offshore tax credit would not be eligible for the investment tax credit (ITC) and the production tax credit (PTC). Both expired at the end of 2014 but it is widely believed they will be extended again later this year.

"Instead of yearly extensions of the ITC 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," Carper said.

The US is yet to install any offshore wind capacity. However, construction at the 30MW Block Island offshore project in Rhode Island is underway, with completion expected next year.

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