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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770520000The Allegheny Front is a radio program covering environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Front began in 1991 and continues to serve the community as the most insightful source of local and regional environmental news and information on the radio. The program explores environmental issues affecting the community through stories, interviews, news, and commentaries.

Lawmakers Renew Federal Incentives For Wind And Solar

Duke Energy
Duke Energy's North Allegheny Windpower Project is located 95 miles east of Pittsburgh. The 35 wind turbines are capable of producting 70 megawatts of electricity, enough to power roughly 21,000 average-sized homes.

Congress has been negotiating an end-of-year budget deal that includes tax credits for the wind and solar industries. Democrats negotiated a five-year renewal of clean energy subsidies in exchange for lifting a 40-year-old ban on U.S. oil exports sought by Republicans.

The wind credits expired last year, and the tax credit for solar was scheduled to be phased out at the end of next year.

“I’m kind of giddy with excitement,” said Steve Peplin, president of Talan products, a manufacturer based in Cleveland that makes parts for the solar industry. “It’s obviously very good news for us. We were preparing for 2016 to be a bonanza year. Projects were being accelerated to get them done before the expiration of the credit.”

Peplin said he didn’t really expect lawmakers to move on this issue until 2016, when the credits were set to expire.

“I’m really shocked that they got behind this," he said. "And, you know, the timing’s perfect, with the Paris accords and all.”

Last weekend in Paris, 195 nations signed onto a landmark agreement designed to cut carbon emissions and stem climate change.

Read more of this and other stories at the website of our partner The Allegheny Front.