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Iberdrola still on the fence about Horse Creek Wind Farm

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CLAYTON — The extension of the federal wind production tax credit is “good news” for Iberdrola Renewables, but the Spanish energy giant hasn’t decided whether to move forward with the proposed Horse Creek Wind Farm.

“The PTC’s extension is unquestionably good news for us, the U.S. clean energy sector and the thousands of people working in this field,” Iberdrola spokesman Paul N. Copleman said. “But it is not the only factor affecting our ability to move any individual project forward.”

More important, because Congress extended the 2.2-cents-per-kilowatt tax credit by only a year, Horse Creek would not be able to meet the deadline to break ground on its 126-megawatt project even if the developer starts a state Article X siting review process immediately.

Article X’s 12-month deadline for a siting decision — regarding the construction and operation of electric-generating facilities of 25 megawatts or higher — kicks in only after a developer completes a state-mandated pre-application process and the siting board chairman determines that a project application is in compliance with state requirements.

The siting board also is allowed to extend the review deadline by up to six months, although only under “extraordinary circumstances.”

“We will see if there are opportunities to take advantage of the tax credit window, consistent with our near-term business plans, and are evaluating our national pipeline to see which projects under development represent the best opportunities to push forward,” Mr. Copleman said in an email to the Times.

He said there are no cost estimates for the project yet and the developer, Iberdrola subsidiary Atlantic Wind LLC, is unsure how many turbines it wants to place in Clayton.

The developer last asked Clayton to consider a 48-turbine, 96-megawatt project, but in October suspended its application with the local Planning Board and told officials that it would seek a state siting board’s approval for Horse Creek instead.

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