Big Bend will be developed purely with private capital. The federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy only kicks in after construction, much like a homeowner tax deduction is only applied after a home’s purchase. Just as the size of the homeowner deduction is proportional to the amount of mortgage interest paid that year, the IRS ties the PTC directly to the amount of energy verifiably produced by the project, and this credit is only available during the first 10 years of a project’s life.
All forms of energy are subsidized in some fashion. The PTC is a net economic benefit. Since 2008, the United States has seen over $100 billion in wind energy investment that continues to boost local, state, and federal tax revenues in excess of the PTC’s cost.
At the end of December 2015, Congress extended the PTC for five years, with a phase-down for wind energy. The phase-down means that each year, starting in 2017, the tax credit will decrease by 20%. This policy ensures stability and reliability throughout the wind industry for production.