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Trump administration change aids renewable projects

by Erika Green

The Trump administration provided a major boost to developers of renewable energy, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Kallanish Energy reports.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service last week issued a Notice 2020-41 to provide tax relief to affected taxpayers involved in solar and wind projects by extending the safe harbor time provisions.

The notice is related to the safe harbor deadline for renewable energy projects that began construction in 2016 or 2017.

Under the old rule, those projects would have needed to begin operations by the end of 2020 in order to claim the full 30% Investment Tax Credit for solar projects or the full 2.5 cents per kWh Production Tax Credit for wind.

The change by the Trump administration gives those projects one more year to the end of 2021 to begin generating power.

The change is “a welcome and important step to help the renewable sector and its workers in the face of delays, disruptions and other challenges associated with Covid-19,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, in a statement.

He commended Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and called on Congress to enact temporary refundability for renewable energy credits and to take other measures to help the renewables industry.

The change affects not only wind and solar projects but also hydro, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas and trash plus fuel cells, microturbines and combined heat-and-power systems.

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