Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, recently introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, which would provide critical financial incentives to encourage investment in offshore wind energy.

This bipartisan bill would create an investment tax credit that is redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to about 600 wind turbines.

In the past, Congress has offered a temporary credit for investments in wind power, but the last extension of this credit will expire before Dec. 31, 2019. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry. The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology.

“Offshore wind energy has the potential to power every home, school and business from Florida to Maine with clean, renewable energy,” Carper said. “Investing in new offshore wind projects spurs economic growth and has the potential to create millions of good-paying American jobs. It also helps enhance our national security by encouraging domestic energy production and protects our environment and public health by deploying a cleaner source of energy. I’m proud to partner with Collins to provide this growing industry the certainty it needs to draw private sector investments in new offshore wind facilities across the country. Making smart investments to move us closer to energy independence is a win-win-win for our economy, our security, our health and our planet.”

The legislation defines offshore facilities as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the U.S., including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the U.S., including the territorial seas of the U.S., the exclusive economic zone of U.S. and the outer Continental Shelf of the U.S.

The University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind estimated that the Atlantic coast holds 330 gigawatts of offshore wind power — enough to meet the electricity needs of the East Coast. The expansion of America’s offshore wind industry would provide an opportunity to protect the environment, grow the nation’s economy and create jobs for people living in areas near the coast.

A detailed summary of the legislation is available at bit.ly/2tWK1Xe.