Scott Cockerham Quoted in GenerationHub Article on Tax Credits for Renewable Projects

Akin Gump global project finance counsel Scott Cockerham was quoted in the GenerationHub article “The ‘greening of the grid’ is underway and not apt to stop soon,” regarding an expected trend toward lower-carbon power generation that could continue into the new Trump administration.

The article reports that 29 states, three territories and the District of Columbia currently have a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), with New York and California each planning to go 50 percent renewable by 2030.

Cockerham noted that renewable projects can choose between two major benefits: the production tax credit (PTC) or investment tax credit (ITC). While solar projects are limited to the latter, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and others can pick between the two. He added that projects that begin construction in 2016 can claim 100 percent in 2016, but projects that start construction in 2019 can claim only 40 percent of the PTC.

Clarifying when construction is considered to have begun, Cockerham said construction starts when “physical work of a significant nature” begins. As a rule of thumb, more work is better than less, he said, but “you can’t just build a fence” around a wind turbine site and say you have started construction.