Tax Credits for Energy Facilities Extended in New Budget Bill
Congress recently enacted the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which contained a number of extenders applicable to tax credits for energy facilities. In the case of PTC-eligible energy facilities that were not covered by the earlier extension applicable to wind and solar, the credit was extended to facilities where construction was commenced before January 1, 2018. This new rule applies to closed and open loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic facilities. In addition, the election to claim the ITC in lieu of the PTC on these facilities was also extended to facilities where construction was commenced before January 1, 2018.
The ITC provisions were amended to extend the “commence construction” dates for 30% credits for fiber optic solar, qualified fuel cell, ground based thermal heating and cooling systems, and qualified small wind energy property to be consistent with solar facilities (terminating at the end of 2021). The Act also extended the “commence construction” dates for 10% credits relating to qualified microturbine and combined heat and power system property (also terminating at the end of 2021). To be eligible for the extension, combined heat and power system property must be placed into service after December 31, 2016.
In addition, the credits for fiber optic solar, qualified fuel cell and qualified small wind project will step down over the next 5 years. It also appears that any such property not placed in service by the end of 2023 will not be eligible for any ITC.