Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) says restoration of federal tax credits will help Bloom Energy create hundreds more jobs in Delaware. But the company has only created about a third of the jobs it promised to bring the state five years ago.
Congress extended tax credits for wind and solar in 2015, but left out fuel cells. It added those credits back last month.
Delaware gave Bloom a $12-million grant and agreed to require Delmarva ratepayers to pay a monthly surcharge to the company for 21 years. In return, it promised to create 900 jobs by 2017 or pay some of the money back. Bloom returned $1.5 million to the state last fall.
Carper said he helped to reinstate fuel cell investment tax credits in February’s budget resolution. Carper added that Bloom shouldn't be blamed for struggling over the past two years without them.
“It is not the fault of Bloom Energy that the provision of the federal tax code was deleted by mistake, not on purpose but just by mistake," he said. "It’s taken two years to restore it.”
But Carper said in the long run this deal will ultimately prove to be good for the First State.
“There’s a direct correlation between the restoration of the investment tax credits in the federal tax code," he said. "It’s a lifesaver for this company, for this technology. It’ll make a huge difference going forward.”
As of September 2017, Bloom only created about 300 jobs, the number it promised to add by 2014 - before the tax credits were eliminated. If the company’s payroll doesn’t total $144 million in 2021, it’ll have to pay back more of its grant from the state.