Collins introduces bill to encourage investments in offshore wind energy

Legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Tuesday aims to spur investments in offshore wind energy through an investment tax credit that would reward developers of new offshore facilities that generate wind energy.

The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would create an investment tax credit for the first 3,000 megawatts of electricity generated by bringing new facilities online, which amounts to approximately 600 wind turbines.

“Maine is a leader in the emerging offshore wind industry, which holds great potential for the future of clean energy and the creation of good jobs,” Collins said. “By giving private sector companies the certainty they need, our legislation will help accelerate the development of this promising industry in America and create a new, sustainable source of domestic power.”

Faster-blowing offshore wind generates more consistent electricity per wind turbine, and consequently offers the potential for producing clean energy near large population centers and perhaps using existing transmission infrastructure, lawmakers said.

Congress previously authorized temporary incentives for investments in wind energy, but the last extension is slated to expire in December 2019. Collins and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act to provide certainty to the wind energy sector.

Because of the higher initial costs of developing offshore wind, and the lengthy time involved with acquiring federal permits, the investment tax credit is viewed as providing an added incentive for investors making a long-term investment.

“Investing in new offshore wind projects spurs economic growth and has the potential to create millions of good-paying American jobs,” Carper said. “It also helps enhance our national security by encouraging domestic energy production and protects our environment and public health by deploying a cleaner source of energy.”