October 25, 2018 Read More →

Florida renewables giant says end of wind subsidy won’t slow new installations

Utility Dive:

The wind sector is just a couple of years from seeing the PTC start declining, leading to broad questions about whether rapid growth of the resource can continue. But NextEra officials see little reason for concern as technological advances mature alongside a diminishing tax credit.

[Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources], told analysts during the company’s earnings call Tuesday that the outlook for new wind energy remains strong even as the PTC is slated to begin phasing out.

Asked about the size of the U.S. wind market when the federal subsidy rolls off, Pimentel said, “We think that by the mid part of the next decade that the pricing of wind is going to be pretty much on par to where we see it today with a 100% PTC.”

The PTC begins to phase out in 2021, declining to 80%, then 60% in 2022, and so on. But considering improvements the company is beginning to see with technology, “we absolutely believe that by mid part of the next decade, you’re going to have the costs around the same place that you have it today,” Pimentel said. “We think there’s going to be a lot of wind that gets built over the next three to four years on top of the solar and storage that we are clearly seeing is coming to market,” Pimentel said.

NextEra Energy Resources has also signed its first transaction in which a customer is combining wind and solar energy with battery storage, officials said. [John Ketchum, NextEra’s executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer], called it the next phase of renewables deployment, pairing “low cost wind and solar energy with a low-cost battery storage solution to provide a product that can be dispatched with enough certainty to meet customer needs for a nearly firm generation resource.”

More: NextEra: Wind will be competitive after PTC sunset due to price declines

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