Federal tax benefits, such as the Section 1603 Grant, investment tax credits and production tax credits, continue to be an important driver in financing renewable energy projects. Several of my colleagues will be discussing these tax benefits and other incentives related to project financing in a webinar hosted by Infocast on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Here is full description of the topics that will be discussed, the speakers and a link to the Infocast website for registration:
The section 1603 grant program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 recently entered its second year. Section 1603 has transformed the renewable energy industry from one in the doldrums to an industry revitalized. But what does the future hold for section 1603 and will recent legislative efforts to limit the grant program create a new uncertainty in renewable energy financing?
Unfortunately, section 1603 is set to expire at the end of 2010, except for projects that have commenced construction. Recently, the prospects for extending section 1603 were dimmed when Senator Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), and three other Democratic senators, sponsored a bill that would place limitations on receipt of the grant. Developers, lenders, investors and their counsel all need to know whether and how they can fit under section 1603 and, if they can, how to optimize their deal structures, including the interface between the section 1603 grant and the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Programs and any related NEPA compliance issues. Those who, for whatever reason, cannot qualify for section 1603 need to understand what comes next: PTCs, ITCs, or maybe some variation on 1603, and how those transactions should be designed.
Please join Infocast and Stoel Rives for a 90-minute webinar and panel discussion on project financing of renewable energy projects to maximize the benefit of tax and other incentives that may be available. Stoel Rives is a Chambers-rated leader in renewable energy law.
Edward Einowski, Partner, STOEL RIVES LLP
Erica Egan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance, HELABA
Gregory Jenner, Partner, STOEL RIVES LLP
Kevin Pearson, Partner, STOEL RIVES LLP
Gary Barnum, Partner, STOEL RIVES LLP
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the first awards of cash grants in lieu of the investment tax credit (ITC) today. The total award value was over $502 million. Recipients include projects in Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Click here for a detailed list of the awards announced today. Additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information on this program and the application process, please see the Stoel Rives Energy Law Alert: Treasury Issues Guidance on Applications for Grants in Lieu of the ITC and PTC.
On Friday, January 23, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee released his version of the economic stimulus bill. Like its House counterpart (H.R. 598), the proposal by Chairman Max Baucus ("Chairman’s Mark") is called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. The Chairman’s Mark is scheduled to be considered in the Finance Committee on Tuesday, January 27.
As with H.R. 598, the Chairman's Mark would extend the production tax credit ("PTC") sunset date, permit taxpayers to elect to claim the investment tax credit ("ITC") in lieu of the PTC for certain projects, and extend bonus depreciation through 2009. Importantly, however, the Chairman’s Mark does not include the provision in the House bill that would enable taxpayers to receive cash grants in lieu of the ITC for certain projects. Without this grant provision, questions have been raised as to whether the Chairman's proposal would accomplish the legislative purpose of promoting investment in renewable energy development. Other provisions of note in the Chairman's Mark are modifications to the general business credit and a new 30% credit for investment in certain property used in a "qualified advanced energy manufacturing project."
As part of an $825 billion stimulus plan to help revitalize the economy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (H.R. 598) was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The Bill aims to shore up tax incentives and offer new grants that would facilitate the development of renewable energy projects. Highlights of the proposed legislation include an extension of the production tax credit (“PTC”) sunset date, an election between the PTC and the investment tax credit, project grants in lieu of tax credits for certain projects, and an extension of bonus depreciation through 2009.
Check out our recent client alert for more information on HR 598 and its implications for project financing. The House Ways and Means Committee began its markup of the Bill on Thursday, January 22. We will report further developments as the Bill progresses. If you’d like to receive Stoel Rives Energy Law Alerts, click here.