Hydro plants eligible for stimulus payments

The U.S. Treasury and Energy departments announced the opening of an Internet-based application system for companies to apply for $3 billion in government funds for renewable energy projects including some hydropower and ocean energy projects.

Companies that build and place into service renewable energy facilities could receive up to $3 billion in direct payments in lieu of tax credits. This is the next step in the funding program, for which the departments announced guidelines on July 9, 2009. (HydroWorld 7/9/09)

The money will be allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and will be distributed to about 5,000 renewable energy facilities, including hydropower (including ocean energy), wind, and solar. Both agencies are now accepting applications.

Eligible facilities must be placed into service in 2009 or 2010. If construction of the facility begins in 2009 or 2010, the facility must begin commercial production by the end of 2012 (for wind), 2013 (for hydro, biomass, and geothermal), or 2016 (for solar). The deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2011.

Interested companies can review the application at www.treas.gov/recovery/1603.shtml.

“This program will play a major role in encouraging private sector capital to invest in clean energy development, creating new jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “It is an investment that will continue to help our economy grow and ensure advancement of clean and renewable energy.”

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