Oklahoma eliminates tax credit that propelled state's wind energy industry

Apr 20, 2017

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Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for installed wind power capacity, thanks in large part to a tax incentive that is soon coming to an end.

As State Impact reports, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed House Bill 2298, which requires wind farms to be operational by July to qualify for the state’s Zero Emission Tax Credit, an incentive program Fallin credited with establishing Oklahoma’s wind industry.

As wind farm construction boomed across the state, the cost of state incentives grew causing support for the wind industry to dwindle as state lawmakers struggled with smaller and smaller revenue streams diminished by tax cuts and slumping oil prices.

Fallin called on lawmakers to end the tax credit in her 2017 budget proposal, something supporters called prudent given the state’s $870 million budget shortfall.

But wind companies say ending the tax credit more than three years early hurts those that counted on the incentive for new turbine projects already under construction, but not operational until July.