A Word About Wind has published my article about offshore wind in the United States as part of its Legal Power List 2018 special report. The article discusses how offshore wind projects, such as Vineyard Wind, have certain advantages over onshore wind, particularly with respect to tax credits for storage. Here is a link to
On May 30, A Word About Wind held its first annual Financing Wind New York conference. Tickets to the conference sold out and the attendees were generally wind pros with considerable experience. The panelists provided many useful insights regarding the wind industry.
Below are soundbites from the conference. They are organized by topic, rather than chronologically, and were prepared without the benefit of a transcript or a recording.
“Right now, globally there is 18 GW of offshore wind.” — North American Leader, European Based Offshore Wind Developer
“Expecting 20 to 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. So that means a couple of gigawatts a year of offshore wind.” — North American Leader, European Based Offshore Wind Developer
“Offshore wind can be very close to the load centers, 20 to 30 miles away from where people are actually using the electricity. That makes offshore wind easier than onshore wind, which is now facing transmission challenges to get their power to where people actually use it.” — North American Leader, European Based Offshore Wind Developer
“The European model has been to have the local utility build out to the offshore wind. In the US, the trend appears to be wind generators are responsible for getting their wind to shore. I expect wind developers will end up paying for the grid connection. There is a discrete set of permitting and risks building that connection 30 miles out in the water to the project.” – President, Transmission Developer
“Energy is politically driven, so having manufacturing facilities set up here in the US is very important.” — North American Leader, European Based Offshore Wind Developer
“Energy policy is very much driven by the states. However, the federal government under Trump has been supportive of offshore wind. The Trump administration has taken on board streamlining the offshore wind permitting process and has been supportive of new offshore wind leases.” — North American Leader, European Based Offshore Wind Developer…
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A Word About Wind has published our article What Is the Impact of Tax Reform on US Wind Tax Equity Deals? in its blog (subscription required) and newsletter. If you are unable to open the blog post, the text of the article is available below:
On 22 December 2017, President Trump signed the first major reform of the United States tax code since 1986. Here are some of the ramifications of the reforms on wind tax equity transactions.
Corporate Tax Rate Reduced to 21%
In 2018, the corporate tax rate has been reduced from 35% to 21%. The rate reduction means that US corporations will pay significantly less federal income tax, so the supply of tax equity will decline. However, most tax equity investors are expected to still pay enough tax to merit making tax equity investments.
Importantly, the rate reduction means sponsors of wind projects will be able to raise less tax equity as depreciation deductions are worth only $.21 per dollar of deduction rather than $.35 per dollar.
100% Bonus Depreciation
A partial mitigant to tax rate reduction is that the act provides the option of claiming 100% bonus depreciation (i.e. expensing), so depreciation deductions can be available in the first year (rather than over multiple years). However, the partnership tax accounting rules hamper the efficient use of 100% bonus depreciation.
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