The fight over tax rates that ended with Congress approving the fiscal cliff bill Tuesday included extensions to several alternative-energy tax credits and programs, including an offshore wind project scheduled for the Atlantic City area.

Among the credits buried in the 59 pages of the bill was a one-year extension of the production tax credit. Additionally, the rules detailing how far a project must progress to qualify for the credits were changed to require construction on a project to have begun by the start of 2014, according to the bill.

Offshore wind developers and advocates have lobbied hard for Congress to extend the tax credits. They say the incentives are critical to helping the industry progress.

The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club hailed the federal credits, but Director Jeff Tittel, in a news release, slammed the state for allegedly dragging its feet for approving state permits.

One of the offshore wind projects that will benefit from the credits is the demonstration project by Fishermen’s Energy planned for just off Atlantic City. The company said in a statement that it has all federal and state permits needed for construction to begin sometime this year.

“The announcement of an investment tax credit extension, coupled with the recent Department of Energy award to Fishermen’s Energy, will allow New Jersey to capture the economic benefits of offshore wind at a significantly lower cost” spokeswoman Rhonda Jackson said in a news release.

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