WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development (WIND) Act, which would extend the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind through the year 2025. Six additional senators are co-sponsoring the legislation, including: Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
The current wind investment tax credit was extended last year through 2019. However, because offshore wind projects have longer lead times, very few projects will benefit from the incentive.
According to the Department of Energy, the potential offshore wind capacity off the U.S. coast and the Great Lakes is four times all existing U.S. generating capacity. The nation's first offshore wind project is scheduled to be completed later this year off the Rhode Island coast. By contrast, there are 2,300 turbines off the coasts of 11 European nations.
“Hats off to these senators for recognizing the importance of capturing the tremendous amount of pollution-free energy off our coasts and in the Great Lakes," said Rob Sargent, Energy program director for Environment America. "Tapping even just a fraction of our offshore wind potential would bring big benefits to our health, the environment, and our children’s future.”