Will The Loss of the Wind Turbine Tax Credit Create Utility Exercises of Eminent Domain?

"If the credit expires, it will drive the cost up when we go for a power purchase agreement," Becker said. "We may say, ‘Is this an opportunity for us to do our own construction – can we build it cheaper?’"

According to Beiermann, there is no mandate in Nebraska that requires utilities to use an increased amount of wind energy. However, the NPPD Board of Directors has voluntarily set a goal of having 10 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy resources by 2020.

"There is a strong push by regulators and the general public as well for clean energy resources," Beiermann said. "Nebraska reportedly has the third best wind energy resources in the nation, so there’s a lot of interest in wind for export."…

Private developers do not have the right to eminent domain, but NPPD does. Beiermann said the utility doesn’t currently have any condemnation on wind sites and stressed that it tries its best to work with landowners before that point is reached.




At this time, a 2.2 cent kilowatt-hour tax credit is provided to wind energy companies. This is a major incentive for private wind development.

If the tax credit is lost, wind development will become far more expensive.

As noted in the attached article, under such a circumstance in which this tax credit is lost, we can easily foresee utilities entering wind turbine development process. This is because of many States having a mandated requirement that non-fossil fuel energy sources be a specific percent of total electric production.