FERC certifies production tax credit for 149-MW Balch 1 and 2

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at the 148.776-MW Balch 1 and 2 hydroelectric project in California to be eligible for renewable energy production tax credits.

In an application for certification, licensee Pacific Gas &Electric Co. cited efficiency improvements from a turbine upgrade that included a new runner for Unit 3 at the Balch 2 powerhouse. The project (No. 175) is on the North Fork Kings River, in Fresno County, Calif.

The unit upgrade was completed in February, with PG&E filing its request in August. FERC issued its order certifying the incremental generation Sept. 25.

Based on its review of information provided by the licensee, FERC certified incremental generation totaling 7,858,667 kWh, an improvement in generation of 1.48 percent.

FERC has certified incremental generation at more than a dozen projects for renewable energy production tax credits, including, most recently, Duke Energy Indiana’s 81-MW Markland project. (HNN 8/13/07)

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 applies the tax credit to incremental production from efficiency improvements or capacity additions to existing hydroelectric facilities placed into service after Aug. 8, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2009.

The House has passed legislation that would extend the production tax credit for four years. A conference committee is to reconcile House energy legislation with the Senate’s version, which is markedly different.

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