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GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, has unveiled a study estimating that the federal tax incentive for wind energy projects, which is set to expire Dec. 31, more than pays for itself through tax revenues from the projects' income, vendors' profits and individual workers' wages.

The study, released at the American Council on Renewable Energy's Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York, estimates that wind farms built in 2007, supported by the production tax credit (PTC), carry a net present value benefit to the U.S. Treasury of $250 million.

"Congress is debating how to pay for the wind tax credits perhaps without realizing that, over time, wind farms pump more money into the U.S. Treasury and state and local coffers than they take out," says Kevin Walsh, managing director of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services. "Our study shows that the wind farms more than pay for themselves through existing tax revenues, so it's time to renew the incentives immediately."

According to the study, wind projects that went into operation last year generate federal income tax revenues from the projects, individual workers' wages, vendors' profits and land leases. They also provide federal tax revenue after 10 years, when the PTC expire.

In addition to those federal tax revenues, the wind projects generate an estimated $6 million per year in local property taxes, $15 million annually in state income taxes on wages and profits during construction and $1.5 million per year in taxes while operating.

For the full study, visit geenergyfinancialservices.com

SOURCE: GE Energy Financial Services

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