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Chu: Congress should pass tax credit for wind energy manufacturers


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The president’s energy secretary said in Milwaukee Thursday that Congress should pass a tax credit for manufacturers that serve the wind energy industry.

Steven Chu made his remarks after touring Ingeteam, a maker of wind turbines that was built in 2010 with the help of a former federal clean technology tax credit.

Chu said a new tax credit would help avoid layoffs at wind energy facilities – and he said it would be phased out as the cost of producing wind energy becomes cheaper and more competitive.

Ingeteam now has 53 employees, and the firm expects to hire around 225 more people by 2015. The firm is based in Spain, and it chose Milwaukee for its U.S. headquarters when former Governor Jim Doyle approved a state tax break of up to $4.5 million. The company also got a half-million dollar state development loan, and its federal tax break totaled $1.7 million.

The new factory cost a total of $21 million.

Also Thursday, Energy Secretary Chu was scheduled to visit the Great Lakes Bioenergy Center in Madison. It conducts research aimed at creating new bio-fuels as more economical alternatives to foreign oil.