ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson today heralded the inclusion of major electric cooperative policy priorities in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act.
“Electric cooperatives are leading the charge to reliably meet tomorrow’s energy needs at a cost consumers can afford,” Matheson said. “Several provisions in this bill provide electric co-ops with crucial new tools as they navigate the ongoing energy transition and prepare for a future that depends on more electricity to power the American economy.”
Two provisions in the bill are of particular interest to electric cooperatives:
- Direct Pay Tax Incentives: Under the proposal, electric cooperatives—for the first time—would have direct access to energy innovation tax credits, and parity with industry counterparts, when they deploy new energy technologies, including carbon capture, nuclear, energy storage and traditional renewables. The direct payment would be available for all existing technologies for which clean energy tax credits are currently accessible and creates a direct payment for a new slate of technologies.
- Grants for Clean Energy Systems: A new voluntary $9.7 billion grant and loan program designed specifically for electric cooperatives that purchase or build new clean energy systems. The wide range of eligible projects – including carbon capture, renewable energy, storage, nuclear, and generation and transmission efficiency improvements – allows each cooperative to determine its path based on its unique circumstances. Co-ops would be able to receive an award for as much as 25% of their project cost, with a maximum amount of $970 million for any one entity.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.