The Need for an Adequate Commence Construction Window for 45Q Federal Tax Credits for CCUS
Developing a carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) project can take as long as five years and require investments of close to $50 million before construction can begin. To take advantage of the current 45Q tax credit, construction on a CCUS project must commence before January 1, 2024. Despite the fact that 45Q was signed into law on February 9, 2018 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the U.S. Treasury has still not issued implementing regulations needed so that developers will know the rules for qualifying for the credit. 45Q was intended to spur CCUS projects by making them more economically attractive, but for projects waiting on the Treasury regulations before beginning their initial engineering design, the chances of meeting the current commence construction deadline are extremely low and uncertain. So, the real “window” for CCUS project development is rapidly closing, if it hasn’t already closed for some potential projects. If the commence construction window for 45Q tax credit eligibility is not extended right now, then many projects currently under consideration today are not likely to be pursued.