The last-minute fiscal cliff deal spared the lapse of the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit late Tuesday, saving close to 37,000 jobs across the country, StateImpact Texas reports.
The support was created in 1992 to help spur wind and geothermal energy exploration, and provides suppliers a 2.2-cent tax credit for each kilowatt hour of energy they make during their first ten years of operation. The one-year extension of the credit – approved as part of the fiscal cliff bill – is expected to cost $12.1 billion over ten years.
And why is this important to Texas? Well, on Christmas Day, ERCOT set a new wind-power record.
“Unlike traditional power plants, wind power output can vary dramatically over the course of a single day, and even more so over time,” said Kent Saathoff, ERCOT’s vice president of Grid Operations and System Planning, in a statement. “With new tools and experience, our operators have learned how to harness every megawatt of power they can when the wind is blowing at high levels like this.”