Arkansas Advanced Energy Association releases letter to Congressional delegation in support of multi-year extensions for renewable energy production & biodiesel tax credits

LITTLE ROCK – The newly formed Arkansas Advanced Energy Association released a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation today, in support of a four-year extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and a three-year reinstatement of the Biodiesel Tax Credit (BTC).

“The PTC has been integral to the growth of advanced energy jobs in Arkansas and has been the major driver of wind power development over the past seven years,” said Steve Patterson AAEA Executive Director. “Failure to extend the wind PTC within the first quarter will likely slow or stop existing wind manufacturing in Arkansas.”

Earlier this year, AAEA released the “Arkansas Clean Technology Primer” that showed the clean technology sector grew at a faster rate than the rest of the Arkansas economy over the last eight years and shows the greatest potential for continued growth, especially in the wind component manufacturing and biodiesel industries.

The letter states that bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Dave Reichert (R, WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-03) called the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act (H.R. 3307),” seeks to extend tax credits for the production of all forms of renewable energy – wind, geothermal, hydro, landfill gas and biomass – through 2016 (solar tax credits don’t expire until then, which is why it isn’t included). Congressman Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, is the lone cosponsor from Arkansas.

Four Arkansas wind industry companies are operating or are building new manufacturing plants: Nordex USA, Inc., Beckmann Volmer, LM Wind Power, and Mitsubishi Power Systems. The PTC for wind expires at the end of 2012 but given the length of time needed for production, an early extension is critical if there is to be any installation of wind farms in the USA in 2013.

The letter also urges Arkansas’s Congressional delegation to sign onto S 1277 and HR 2238. This legislation would extend the BTC for three years. A three -year extension of the BTC is projected to expand the biodiesel industry by 74,000 jobs by 2015 and add $7.3 billion to GDP. Congressman Mike Ross, D-Prescott, is the only Arkansas cosponsor.

“The U.S. biodiesel industry’s record growth and resulting job creation is at risk without immediate action from Congress to reinstate the Biodiesel Tax Credit,” added Patterson. When the BTC was reinstated last year after a lapse in 2010, it boosted biodiesel production to a record volume of 1.1 billion gallons in 2011, according to the letter.

FutureFuel, one of Arkansas’s premier energy companies and located in Batesville, recently reported that the 3rd quarter of 2011 was its most profitable quarter to date due largely to increased biodiesel production.

Signers to the letter include top executives from Arkansas’s advanced energy economy including: Nordex USA, Inc., Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Clean Line Energy Partners, BioEnergy Systems, LLC, NextGen Illumination, Silicon Solar Solutions, FutureFuel Chemical Company and others.

To read a copy of AAEA’s letter to Arkansas’s Congressional delegation, click here.

About Arkansas Advanced Energy Association

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) is dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies.

Like AAEA on Facebook.