Return of Federal Small-Wind Tax Credit a Big Boost for Small Wind

  • Published on October 12th, 2008

New investment tax credit of up to $4k to grow small turbine industry

small wind turbine tax credit

Last week’s well-publicized economic bailout package, included several “sweeteners” to help it through the House. Extended were the tax credits for solar, wind, and geothermal as well as tax credits for green building and energy efficiency. But what also passed was a new federal-level investment tax credit for qualified small wind turbines. The ITC is valued at $500/.5kw capacity for up to $4,000 and available for small and micro-wind turbines (up to 100kw), including vertical-axis wind turbines, installed through 2016.

The U.S. small wind industry projects that the enactment of the credit, combined with a forthcoming equipment certification program, will provide thousands of new green collar jobs and contribute to an estimated 40% annual growth for the industry.

“With the new federal tax credits and several State incentive programs, small wind is now an increasingly more affordable solution for consumers who want to reduce their environmental impact and their energy bills, said Andy Kruse, Co-founder of Southwest Windpower, makers of the popular Skystream 3.7, a “plug and play” unit I previously featured as one of the top micro-wind turbines.

Tax credits have been shown to boost advances in utility-scale renewable energy industry and technologies And they have been shown to be a critical part of the rooftop solar PV industry, but tax credits for small wind have not existed for several years. This lack of federal support has kept small wind technology, and the cost-effectiveness of it, from growing as quickly as other renewable energy technologies.

U.S. Senator championed small-wind credit

The passage of the credit was due in no small part to Colorado Senator Ken Salazar (D) who fought to keep the credit applicable to homeowners, not just farmers and businesses. Salazar said,

“Cutting edge small wind systems can play an important role in our efforts to expand the production of clean, homegrown energy. These tax credits will provide America’s consumers, small business owners, and farmers and ranchers the opportunity to bring down their energy costs, while helping to advance us toward an energy independent future.”

A small wind provision added to the Farm Bill by Salazar (D) was removed from the final version that passed this earlier this year.

Image credit: NREL

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.


  • Be weary of Southwest Windpower products (AkA: SWWP).

    Their support on their base model shown from the onset of this article was poor to none. My personal dealings with them up to the corporate level was very disturbing….. AND I was trying to pay for my fix…. no freebie work.

    . . . .

    In fact if you search the web for reviews of their "Air-X" model, you will find at least two separate and independent documents that prove that their base model did not meet the power curve advertised (watts based on wind velocities).

    . . . .

    I would be skeptical of anything they sold. They couldn't give me a turbine for free! There are many other compinies in the USA that sell the same or better products, BUT understand that support is needed after the sale.

    . . . .

    If you are considering Southwest Windpower (SWWP)….BUYER BEWARE

  • This is going to be extremely important, especially since the current economic crisis has caused fuel prices to plummet. With low fuel costs, people are less likely to consider green energy, but this gives green (or at least wind) power a strong chance.

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