ADVANCED COAL PROJECTS that were awarded investment tax credits by the US Treasury may be given more time to use them.

The credits are in section 48A of the US tax code. They are 15% to 30% of the project cost depending on the type of advanced technology employed at the project to generate electricity from coal. The amount of potential tax credits under this section is limited, so developers had to apply to the US Department of Energy and the IRS for an allocation. Any project awarded credits has to be placed in service within five years after the award.

Russ Sullivan, who was until recently staff director of the Senate tax-writing committee, wrote the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy in July asking for more time to complete projects that are under construction at the five-year mark using a continuous construction standard like was used for Treasury cash grants for renewable energy projects. Sullivan made two other suggestions for how to give the projects more time if this one does not appeal.

Unused tax credits go back into a pool to be rebid.