December 17, 2019 / 4:27 PM / a month ago

U.S. spending bill holds win for wind energy, setback for solar

FILE PHOTO: Wind turbines operate at sunrise in the Permian Basin oil and natural gas production area in Big Spring, Texas, U.S., February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

(Reuters) - U.S. clean energy producers would get only some of what they hoped for under a massive U.S. spending bill unveiled late Monday, with wind developers getting more time to land a big subsidy and solar developers losing their bid to extend a key investment credit.

Under the bill, wind energy projects would be able to qualify for a 30% Investment Tax Credit if they start construction by Jan. 1, 2021 – as opposed to current law requiring them to break ground by Jan. 1, 2020 to get the credit, according to the amendment.

Capital Alpha Partners, a political and financial consultancy, said the amendment could benefit European power company Iberdrola (IBE.MC), which is hoping to build America’s first big offshore wind farm – Vineyard Wind – but is dealing with federal permitting delays.

Meanwhile, the bill would preserve a planned reduction scheduled to begin next year in an investment tax credit for solar companies, a setback for solar companies that had been lobbying hard for an extension.

Reporting by Richard Valdmanis

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