The wind sector is just a couple of years from seeing the PTC start declining, leading to broad questions about whether rapid growth of the resource can continue. But NextEra officials see little reason for concern as technological advances mature alongside a diminishing tax credit.
Asked about the size of the U.S. wind market when the federal subsidy rolls off, Pimentel said, "We think that by the mid part of the next decade that the pricing of wind is going to be pretty much on par to where we see it today with a 100% PTC."
The PTC begins to phase out in 2021, declining to 80%, then 60% in 2022, and so on. But considering improvements the company is beginning to see with technology, "we absolutely believe that by mid part of the next decade, you're going to have the costs around the same place that you have it today," Pimentel said.