The following post is from Erin Bzymek, Press Secretary for the BlueGreen Alliance.
It takes at least 365 days to build a wind project, not including planning and design phases. There are now 206 days left until the Production Tax Credit (PTC), which provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity from utility-scale turbines for 10 years. Over the life of a wind project it’s plain to see that the PTC gives consumers thousands of dollars in incentives to make the move to wind energy and once wind turbines are up and running, save even more money in energy costs every month.
Plainly these facts show there’s not enough time to plan and finish a wind project to receive the benefits of the PTC. In response to this looming deadline, past trends indicate manufacturing will slow down, planning and construction phases of wind project development cannot move forward and thousands of jobs are at risk.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, electricity from wind power capacity in the U.S. supplies electricity equivalent to that used by over 10 million American homes. There are now 38 states with utility-scale wind turbines. And, there are 75,000 jobs supported by the wind industry across all 50 states, including manufacturing jobs at over 400 facilities.
Coast to coast and in America’s heartland, there are thousands more jobs and economic growth today than there otherwise would be without the PTC. In Michigan, 3,000-4,000 jobs are directly or indirectly reliant on the wind industry. In California, there are 4,000-5,000 jobs directly or indirectly reliant on the wind industry and in New York, 1,000-2,000 jobs are directly or indirectly reliant on the wind industry.
Today President Obama held Congress’s feet to the fire on the topic of jobs, highlighting his jobs plan that included the PTC. He said, “They left most of the jobs plan just sitting there. There are steps we can take right now to put more people back to work. We have more than one million construction workers out of work. There’s work to be done, and workers to do it.”
There’s no shortage of facts to support the common-sense argument that the PTC should be extended for no less than two years. What’s harder to quantify is where we would be today without the innovation, technology and sustainable path these investments in wind have provided us. Tell Congress to pass the PTC today!