FERC certifies 3.6-MW Lower LaChute for tax credit

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental hydropower generation of the 3.6-MW Lower LaChute River project in Ticonderoga, N.Y., making it eligible for a production tax credit.

Project operator LaChute Hydro Co. Inc. requested certification for efficiency improvements and additional generation resulting from installation of a replacement horizontal spiral Francis runner manufactured by Norcan Hydraulic Turbines. The unit is expected to go on line Jan. 1, 2007, replacing a horizontal Francis runner manufactured by Barber Waterpower. No change in project operations is anticipated.

The company, a subsidiary of Enel North America Inc., submitted its application for the project (No. 5762) Oct. 17. FERC issued an order Nov. 30, certifying incremental generation of 735.9 MWh and setting the percentage of additional generation due to improvements at 5.17 percent. The project’s historical generation baseline is 14.2 million kWh; generation following improvements will total 14.9 million kWh.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Internal Revenue Code to apply a 0.9 cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for incremental production gains from efficiency improvements or capacity additions to existing hydro facilities placed in service after Aug. 8, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2008. FERC is responsible for certifying baseline production information and the gain in generation derived from project improvements or additions.

FERC previously certified incremental hydropower production of five projects in Vermont, New York, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California and Oregon. (HNN 11/17/06).

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