Brown Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Spur Innovation, Jobs in Offshore Wind Industry

Senator Helped Secure Funding for LEEDCo’s Offshore Freshwater Wind Farm on Lake Erie, First of Its Kind in North America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) helped introduce a new bipartisan bill to encourage investment in offshore wind energy development by creating an investment tax credit. The credit would be redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to approximately 600 wind turbines.

“Ohio is leading the way on offshore wind energy. This investment will create jobs and help secure our energy future,” said Brown.

Brown has been a long-time advocate for offshore wind energy. He led efforts to secure funding for the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) to build the first-of-its-kind offshore wind project in Lake Erie. He wrote multiple letters of support for LEEDCo’s application and announced last May that the Department of Energy awarded millions to the project.  

“We applaud Senator Brown and the other co-sponsors of this legislation. Federal tax policies are critically important to advance industries that are in their infancy, like the offshore wind industry in Ohio and the U.S. Once economies of scale are achieved and prices decline, as they have in Europe, federal support can be phased out,” said Dr. Lorry Wagner, President of LEEDCo.

In December 2015, Brown helped pass a tax extenders package that extended a tax credit for power generated by wind and other renewable energy forms until 2020. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry.

The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology. The legislation defines offshore facilities 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.

The expansion of America’s offshore wind industry would provide not only an opportunity to protect the environment and grow the nation’s economy, but it would also create large scores of new jobs for people living in areas near the coast.

Brown joined U.S. Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in introducing the legislation.

A detailed summary of the legislation can be found here and text of the legislation can be found here.

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