Brown Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage Offshore Wind Energy Production

Lake Erie Could be Home to First Fresh Water Project in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today introduced legislation to provide critical financial incentives for the investment and production of offshore wind energy. Cosponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act provides the offshore wind industry with enhanced stability through an investment tax credit for the first 3,000 Mega Watts installed. These provisions are vital because of the long lead times required to permit and construct wind turbines offshore, compared to onshore wind energy.

"Offshore wind energy could not only bring thousands of new manufacturing jobs to our state, but would also provide renewable, clean energy for Ohio," said Brown. "With the right tax incentives, we can position Ohio to lead the nation in clean energy manufacturing, solidifying our nation’s leadership in research, development, and commercialization of wind power. I will continue to work to make Ohio the center of that innovation.”

A vast untapped source of clean energy, offshore wind power is projected to provide pollution-free electricity to millions of homes in the U.S. by 2030. In part, because of the federal permitting delays, no offshore wind project has been built in the U.S.; however, a number of projects are moving through the development process – including in Ohio along Lake Erie.

Introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE.) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the legislation:

  • Requires the secretary of Treasury to consult the secretaries of Energy and Interior when establishing this credit;
  • Provides a 30 percent tax credit on investment in offshore wind for the first 3,000 MW installed;
  • Treasury makes the final decision on who is awarded a tax credit. Once awarded a tax credit, companies have five years to install a wind facility;
  • Companies cannot receive other production or investment tax credits in addition to the offshore wind investment tax credit; and
  • Defines offshore facility as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the United States, including the territorial seas of the United States, the exclusive economic zone of United States, and the outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

Brown is working to bring offshore wind energy to Ohio. Earlier this month, Brown attended an Offshore Wind Industry Roundtable, hosted by NorTech in Cleveland. Brown also fought for funding to support offshore wind in Lake Erie that was announced in February 2011.

In July 2010, Brown urged the Obama administration to strongly consider establishing the country's first demonstration wind project in Ohio. In April 2010, Brown introduced the Program for Offshore Wind Energy Research and Development (POWERED) Act of 2010 which would bolster offshore wind projects, expand incentives for offshore wind development, and require the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a comprehensive roadmap for the deployment of offshore wind.

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