Wind industry still worried about future of tax credit
Written by Jason Epner, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WEST BRANCH (KWWL) -
Two months until the general elections and there is still no resolution to the Wind Energy Tax Credit. Many in the wind industry are beginning to feel the heat.
It's an exciting time for employees at the Acciona Wind power manufacturing plant in West Branch. Workers are putting the finishing touches on a three megawatt wind turbine. It is a first of its kind in North America. It has the ability to power 1,000 homes.
"It's a game changer for the industry," said Joe Baker, CEO of the company.
But amidst all the excitement there are also plenty of tense moments. Acciona Employee, Micha Marsh says he's concerned about his future given inaction in Congress on extending the tax credit. "They won't commit because they don't know what to commit to, and so there's a lot of discussion going on, and they want to be prepared in case the production tax credit gets renewed. Then they'll call us and say ‘I'm ready to go.'"
Baker agrees: "Many potential customers are in a holding pattern because they depend so heavily on the tax credit."
The uncertainty has created a strain on many suppliers across the country. While Baker says there are no indications his company will face any layoffs, others like Clipper Wind power in Cedar Rapids have been forced to make tough decisions. Many like Marsh say a tax credit extension is necessary for peace of mind and to help further the wind industry here in Iowa.
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