On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.
These laws extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy developments. In sum, these laws phase out tax credits over the next five years. Under the new law, wind farms that begin construction before the end of 2016 receive the full tax credit. Every year afterwards, the total credit drops by 20%. The laws also extend the time to start construction of wind projects and still qualify for tax-beneficial bonus depreciation.
The real world result, and the intent of these laws, is clear. More wind farm development should take place. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Illinois is a wind-rich state. Accordingly, Illinoisans should expect an increase in wind development activities. Moreover, wind farm developers should act sooner, not later, to take full advantage of the extension.