FERC certifies production tax credit for 452-MW Seneca Pumped- Storage

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at the 451.8-MW Seneca Pumped-Storage project to be eligible for renewable energy production tax credits.

In an application for certification, licensee FirstEnergy Generation Corp. of Akron, Ohio, cited efficiency improvements gained from rewinding two generators. Seneca Pumped-Storage (No. 2280) is on the Allegheny River in Warren County, Pa., at the Corps of Engineers’ Allegheny River reservoir project.

Based on its review of information provided by the licensee, FERC certified incremental generation of 14,239,030 kWh from improvements to Unit 1, and 8,553,984 kWh from improvements to Unit 2. Those improvements represent generation increases of 2.16 percent for Unit 1 and 1.3 percent for Unit 2, FERC said. National Electric Coil, which rewound both units, said the new stator windings make it possible to operate the units at a higher rating that originally possible.

Work on Unit 1 was initiated in March 2006 and completed in May 2006. Work on Unit 2 ran from March 2007 to May 2007. FERC issued its order certifying the incremental hydropower generation for the project on Oct. 9.

The project previously was licensed to Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. FERC approved transfer of the license to FirstEnergy in 2001.

The commission has certified incremental generation at more than a dozen other projects for renewable energy production tax credits, most recently Pacific Gas &Electric Co.’s 148.776-MW Balch 1 and 2 hydroelectric project in California. (HNN 10/8/07)

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.

House-passed legislation that would extend the production tax credit for four years awaits conference committee action to reconcile it with markedly different Senate legislation. (HNN 10/15/07)

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