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Report: Transmission Investment Tax Credit Would Create 650,000 Jobs, Spur $15.3B in Investment

Alex Hobson's picture
Vice President of Communications American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

Alex Hobson is currently the Vice President of Communications at the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). Previously, Alex served as the Senior Communications Manager for the Solar...

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A new report released today during an American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) webinar with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) outlines the benefits of a transmission Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which has been proposed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and is also included in the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan. The report finds that a targeted tax credit is necessary to incentivize the construction of regionally significant high-voltage transmission infrastructure, and details the job creation, clean energy deployment, and private investment these projects would generate. 

According to the analysis, which provides weighted averages based on a project’s odds of success, a transmission ITC would create upwards of 650,000 good-paying jobs, enable an additional 30,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, spur more than $15 billion in private capital investment in the near term, and provide $2.3 billion in energy cost savings for the lower 80% of income brackets. 

“Expanding and modernizing our nation’s outdated electric grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, but we aren’t yet building nearly enough of the large-scale transmission projects we know we’ll need as we enter a critical period for decarbonizing our economy and accelerating the transition to renewable energy,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “A transmission ITC is the best way to incentivize the construction of high-voltage transmission lines, and I applaud Sen. Heinrich and Rep. Horsford for championing this important proposal in Congress. A rapid expansion of large-scale transmission infrastructure is not just a prerequisite to meeting our ambitious climate goals. These projects will also create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs, lower energy costs for consumers, and enhance the reliability and security of our electric grid.”

“I am thrilled that President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for investments in the transmission infrastructure our country needs to fully realize our clean energy potential,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “That includes my proposal to establish a transmission investment tax credit to encourage private investment in this critical infrastructure. Only once we site and build new transmission lines can we truly rewrite the map of our energy landscape to move clean electrons to market and bring many, many more utility-scale clean energy projects onto the grid. I am committed to doing all I can to get the American Jobs Plan across the finish line. This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to act on climate and create millions of new jobs.”

“The release of today’s report from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) demonstrates the widespread benefits of a transmission ITC for our economy, environment, and electrical grid,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I have been proud to work closely with Senator Heinrich to advance a transmission ITC in Congress, and I am glad to see our legislation included in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Investing in transmission will create jobs, lower energy costs, and help the United States meet our ambitious clean energy goals.”

The report describes the policy rationale for a transmission ITC, as there is currently no other functioning means of funding critically needed large-scale regional and interregional transmission in the United States. The authors also include an analysis of how expanding transmission benefits domestic manufacturing, yields public health and environmental justice benefits, improves grid reliability and resilience, and generates carbon emissions reductions.

“Highway-type lines are a special class that support clean energy and reliability yet there is a hole in our regulatory structure that leaves them unfunded,” said Rob Gramlich, President of Grid Strategies LLC and co-author of the report. “A tax credit can help. Electric sector investors know how to use tax credits to quickly build infrastructure and put people to work.”

The report, Investment Tax Credit for Regionally Significant Electricity Transmission Lines: A Description and Analysis, was commissioned by ACORE in collaboration with Grid Strategies LLC. To download the new analysis, click here

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