Once again the race is on to get new renewable energy projects under construction by year end. While the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 ("ATRA") provided the long sought extension of the Production Tax Credit ("PTC") and Investment Tax Credit ("ITC") for certain renewable resources through 2013 (wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic facilities), the extension comes with terms that present new challenges for developers.
Significantly, to qualify for the PTC or ITC, new renewable projects must “begin construction” prior to January 1, 2014. Under prior law, to qualify for the PTC, the facility had to be “placed in service” by the applicable deadline, which essentially required the commencement of commercial operation. The change in terminology under ATRA increases the availability of the PTC/ITC to a broader array of long lead-time projects, provided they can meet the new “begin construction” deadline by the end of this year. For projects that meet this deadline, the PTC/ITC is effectively extended by more than one year.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca B. DeCook