Cantwell Applauds Long-term Extension of Wind and Solar Tax Credits

Funding helps create a cleaner, more diverse energy system

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, applauded the long-term extension of critical clean energy tax credits for wind and solar energy in the omnibus spending bill.

“America must continue our leadership in one of the most important growth sectors in the global economy – clean energy. By extending the wind and solar tax credits, we continue to support investments in clean energy technology in the United States and 21st century job growth, while reducing our carbon footprint,” Cantwell said.

Cantwell has been a leader in reforming and extending expiring solar investment and wind production tax credits. Securing tax incentives for renewable energy is common-sense energy tax policy. Investing in America’s clean energy economy both improves our environment and boosts clean energy industries that support thousands of jobs in Washington and across the country.

Under the deal, both credits will receive five-year extensions, bridging the gap until the implementation of the Clean Power Plan in 2022. The solar tax credit will be extended until 2022 and the wind tax credit will be extended until 2020. Both credits will phase down over a period of several years. The solar credit will receive “commence construction” treatment for commercial projects.

The solar energy industry in Washington is made up of 134 solar companies that employ 2,400 people working throughout the solar industry supply chain. Solar power capacity grew 56 percent in Washington last year. Washington ranks 15th in the country for solar power capacity per person and 25th nationwide for total solar capacity.

Washington’s wind industry is seventh in the nation for installed wind capacity, with nine manufacturing facilities that produce components for the industry that range from blade, tower and turbine nacelle assembly facilities to raw component suppliers, including fiberglass and steel. In 2014, the wind industry supported between 2,000 and 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in Washington.