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Alliant Energy Announces Agreement to Build 210 MW Wind Farm in Iowa

LCG, July 19, 2018--Alliant Energy's Iowa utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), and Invenergy announced Monday that the companies signed contracts by which Invenergy will complete development of the 210-MW Richland Wind Farm in Sac County, Iowa. Alliant Energy will construct and own the wind farm, which is scheduled to be completed by early 2020.

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New York Announces Plans to Procure Approximately 800 MW of Offshore Wind

LCG, July 13, 2018--The Governor of New York yesterday announced that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has agreed upon plans for the state's first procurements of offshore wind to support New York's goal of installing 2,400 MW of new offshore wind generation by 2030. The new capacity will be important to achieving New York's goal of satisfying 50 percent of its energy requirements with renewable energy by 2030. The goal is part of the Governor's Clean Energy Standard, which was adopted by the PSC in 2016.

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Industry News

New Legislation Proposed in U.S. Senate for Offshore Wind ITC

LCG, August 4, 2017--New legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate to create an investment offshore wind tax credit of 30 percent for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind facilities placed into service in the U.S. The legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide the incentive to the generate electricity from offshore wind.

Offshore wind projects are defined in the legislation as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the U.S., including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the U.S., including the territorial seas of the U.S., the exclusive economic zone of U.S., and the outer Continental Shelf of the U.S. Once a credit is awarded, companies would have five years to install the wind facility.

In the current law, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, Congress amended Section 45 of the tax code to extend production tax credits (PTC) for all wind projects for five years, first phasing-down and then ending December 31, 2019. The PTC is available for 10 years after the date the facility is placed into service.

With the new bill, in lieu of the PTC, companies may claim an ITC for qualifying wind facilities. As a result, any producer that starts construction on a wind facility before December 31, 2019, can claim either the PTC or the ITC. Companies would be prohibited from receiving other production or investment tax credits in addition to the offshore wind ITC created under the bill.

The new bill could reduce costs associated with projects developed to meet the requirements of state energy plans and legislation, such as Massachusetts' Energy Diversity Act, which requires the procurement of approximately 1,600 MW of offshore wind power by 2027, and New York's Offshore Wind Master Plan, which calls for a commitment to develop up to 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.

Massachusetts utilities, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), jointly issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for long-term contracts for offshore wind energy projects in June 2017. The RFP calls for bidders to offer from a total of 400 MW of offshore wind energy capacity to up to approximately 800 MW.

Europe is far ahead of the U.S. in developing offshore wind farms, with approximately 14,000 MW now installed. In 2016, Europe installed 1,558 MW of new offshore wind, with cumulative capacity reaching 12,631 MW. This year, a total of 1,300 MW of offshore wind farms were installed through June, comprised of 18 projects in four EU Member States (Germany, UK, Belgium and Finland).

The scale of current offshore wind turbine technology and wind farms is impressive. In May, the Burbo Bank Extension Project, a new offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay, UK, opened on and became the first offshore wind farm to make commercial use of the MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines. The 8-MW wind turbines are massive, measuring 195 meters from sea level to blade tip. Each blade weighs 35 metric tonnes and measures 80 meters long. The maximum output for the Burbo Bank Extension Project is 258 MW.
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