FERC certifies production tax credit for 2.7-MW Birch Creek

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at the 2.7-MW Birch Creek project in Idaho to be eligible for renewable energy production tax credits.

In an application for certification, licensee Birch Power Co. cited efficiency improvements achieved at Birch Creek (No. 7194) by replacing a Gilkes Turgo impulse turbine and Ideal generator with a Pelton wheel manufactured by China Huadian Engineering Co. Ltd. and a new generator. The new unit was completed in March 2007. Birch Power filed its request in October 2007, and FERC certified the incremental generation Jan. 3.

Based on information provided by the licensee, FERC certified incremental generation of 2,411,786 kWh. The improvements resulted in a 15.65 percent increase in the historical generation baseline of 15,409,089 kWh. All power from the Clark County, Idaho, facility is sold to PacifiCorp.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 applies the federal 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.

So far, the commission has certified incremental generation at more than a dozen other hydroelectric projects for renewable energy production tax credits, most recently FirstEnergy Generation Corp.’s 451.8-MW Seneca Pumped-Storage (No. 2280), on the Allegheny River in Warren County, Pa. (HNN 10/22/07)

The last session of Congress failed to extend tax incentives for hydro and ocean technologies beyond the Jan. 1, 2009, date. However, a spokesman for the National Hydropower Association said the industry would renew efforts in 2008 to extend the tax provisions. (HNN 12/14/07)

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