The holiday season was a good one for Cleveland-area suppliers to the wind energy industry, as the sector got an important one-year extension of a federal tax credit that wind backers say is crucial to creating sustained growth.

The new year would be even better, they note, if the wind industry could receive some incentives or mandates that are long term in nature, and therefore better able to induce billion-dollar investments in projects that take years to pay off. Nonetheless, industry leaders are happy Congress acted on at least one helpful action before 2010 ended.

“It's a great thing,” said John Grabner, president of forged bolt maker Cardinal Fastener in Bedford Heights, of the December passage of a one-year extension of renewable energy tax credits.

“I met with (U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy) Geithner and (Department of Energy Secretary Stephen) Chu when this first came out in 2010, and we listened to guys who said they pulled all their projects out of South America and moved them to the U.S. because of the tax credit,” Mr. Grabner said.

The credit, which functions as a grant from the U.S. government, has been extended to include all wind and other renewable energy projects begun before the end of 2011. It provides developers a grant equal to up to 30% of their project costs and allows for the accelerated depreciation of new equipment for tax purposes.

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