point at which a single owner has more than 1,500 MW of reliability assets under its control in a single connection and expand again once the owner has more than 3,000 MW under construction. Such future changes in our regulatory status or the makeup of our fleet could require it to incur materially higher costs which could have a material adverse impact on its financial performance or results of operations.
Each of the United States, Canada and Chile has established various incentives and financial mechanisms to reduce the cost of renewable energy and to accelerate the adoption of solar and wind energy. These incentives include tax credits, cash grants, favorable tax treatment and depreciation, rebates, RECs or green certificates, net energy metering programs and other incentives. These incentives help catalyze private sector investments in renewable energy and efficiency measures. Changes in the government incentives in each of these jurisdictions could have a material impact on our financial performance.
While we are currently subject to lighter regulation than a traditional utility under United States federal or state law and regulations or the laws and regulations of our foreign markets, we could become more highly regulated in the future.
As the owner of renewable energy facilities in the United States, each of which is either a QF or an EWG, we currently are subject to fewer federal and state standards, restrictions and regulatory requirements than would otherwise be applicable to United States utility companies. As our utility-scale business grows, certain facilities may no longer be eligible for exemption under PURPA from the rate-making or other provisions of the FPA, which would require increased compliance with public utility regulations. Similarly, although we are not currently subject to regulation as an electric utility in the foreign markets in which we provide our renewable energy services, our regulatory position in these markets could change in the future. Any local, state, federal or international regulations could place significant restrictions on our ability to operate our business and execute our business plan by prohibiting or otherwise restricting the sale of electricity by us. If we were deemed to be subject to the same state, federal or foreign regulatory authorities as traditional utility companies, or if new regulatory bodies were established to oversee the renewable energy industry in the United States or in our foreign markets, our operating costs could materially increase, adversely affecting our results of operations.
Federal government support for renewable energy
The federal government provides an uncapped investment tax credit, or “Federal ITC,” that allows a taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a residential or commercial solar generation facility, for which construction begins by the end of 2019. This investment tax credit is currently scheduled to gradually be reduced to 10% for solar generation facilities commencing construction before December 31, 2022 with permanence thereafter. The U.S. Congress could reduce the ITC to below 30% prior to the end of 2019, reduce the ITC to below 10% for periods after 2022 or replace the expected 10% ITC with an untested production tax credit of an unknown amount. PTCs, which are federal income tax credits related to the quantity of renewable energy produced and sold during a taxable year, or ITCs in lieu of PTCs, are available only for wind power plants that began construction on or prior to December 31, 2019. The Wind PTC and ITC are extended to 2019 but reduced 20% in 2017, 40% in 2018 and 60% in 2019 before expiring in 2020. PTCs and accelerated tax depreciation benefits generated by operating renewable energy facilities can be monetized by entering into tax equity financing agreements with investors that can utilize the tax benefits, which have been a key financing tool for renewable energy facilities. The federal government also provides accelerated depreciation for eligible renewable energy facilities. Based on our portfolio of assets, we will benefit from Federal ITC, Federal PTC and an accelerated tax depreciation schedule, and we will rely on financing structures that monetize a substantial portion of these benefits and provide financing for our renewable energy facilities at the lowest cost of capital.
State government support for renewable energy
Many states offer a personal and/or corporate investment or production tax credit for renewable energy facilities, which is additive to the Federal ITC. Further, more than half of the states, and many local jurisdictions, have established property tax incentives for renewable energy facilities that include exemptions, exclusions, abatements and credits. Certain of our renewable energy facilities in the U.S. have been financed with a tax equity financing structure, whereby the tax equity investor is a member holding equity in the limited liability company that directly or indirectly owns the solar generation facility or wind power plant and receives the benefits of various tax credits.
Many state governments, utilities, municipal utilities and co-operative utilities offer a rebate or other cash incentive for the installation and operation of a renewable energy facility for energy efficiency measures. Capital costs or “up-front” rebates