On October 18, 2011, Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-D) introduced H.R. 3238. H.R. 3238 is the companion bill to S. 1397 (previously discussed here) which was introduced on July 21, 2011 by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The bills, both titled the “Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act”, propose an extension of the investment tax credit (“ITC”) for qualified offshore wind energy generation projects.
The bills, which contain nearly identical provisions, call for the Treasury to select up to 3000 MW of offshore wind projects which will qualify for tax credits if they are placed into service over a 5 year period. The tax credit would be the same 30% ITC that is granted to many other renewable energy sources. The five year extension of the ITC for offshore wind projects has been proposed in recognition of the longer siting, permitting and finance process required for offshore renewable energy projects-- a process that is currently estimated to take between 5-7 years. The existing ITC has a sunset provision expiring in 2012 that will render nearly all of the proposed offshore wind projects ineligible for the credit.
Co-sponsors for the Senate bill include Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), Sen. Benjamin Cardin (MD), Sen. Susan Collins (ME), Sen. Christopher Coons (DE), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ), Sen. Jack Reed (RI), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), all of whom represent states hosting active offshore wind development projects. The co-sponsor for the House bill is Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ-R). There are at least three offshore wind generation projects proposed for both state and federal waters off the coast of New Jersey.