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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hailed the extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) included in the wide-ranging energy bill that Congress has recently adopted and President Bush is soon expected to sign into law. The PTC, which was scheduled to expire on 31 December  2005, provides a 1.9 cent-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated with wind turbines over the first ten years of a project’s operations, and is a critical factor in financing new wind farms. This is the first time that an extension of the production tax credit for wind energy has been approved before the credit expires, and follows the past six years of boom-and-bust cycles caused by successive expirations. Up to 2,500MW of wind energy capacity are scheduled to come on-line in the USA during 2005. With the timely extension of the PTC, the AWEA anticipates that strong growth momentum will continue in 2006 and 2007. The bill does not contain restrictions on the availability of the PTC or place limits on offshore wind projects, as some anti-wind lawmakers had proposed.
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