Deal cut to fix anti-renewable BEAT provision in tax bill

Christmas may have come early for the solar and wind industries. And in this case, the present is something that didn’t happen. Today U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) confirmed to Bloomberg that a “tentative” deal has been reached to “mostly” shield the solar and wind industries from the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision in the tax reform bill.

At the time of writing pv magazine was waiting on confirmation from Senator Thune’s office that this is the case, and the details of how this was done are not clear. However, an email from American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) to its members yesterday shows a structure wherein the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Production Tax Credit (PTC) and other tax credits could be used to offset up to 80%-85% of the new BEAT tax.

ACORE says that it has no reason to believe that this is not the same structure as is in the bill, but noted that we would have to wait to be sure of the details. The deal also follows on a letter sent yesterday from eight Republican Representatives, mostly from the Midwest and Plains States, that called for the deals with the wind industry to be honored in the tax reform bill. This included calling for an amendment to the BEAT provision.

Aside from a possible BEAT provision fix, pv magazine sources indicate that the other anti-clean energy measures in the tax bill have now been removed, including a removal of the 20% Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), as well as measures to alter the PTC for wind and scrap the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit.

We will report more on the final status as more information becomes available.