FERC certifies tax credit for 312.33-MW Pit 3, 4, 5

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at Pacific Gas &Electric Co.’s 312.33-MW Pit 3, 4, and 5 hydro project for renewable energy production tax credits.

PG&E said it made efficiency improvements by upgrading the turbine in Unit No. 4 at the Pit 5 powerhouse, on the Pit River in Shasta County, Calif. It completed the upgrade in July 2007. FERC issued the certification order May 23 for Pit 3, 4, and 5 (No. 233).

Pit 5 contains four generating units, each driven by a vertical shaft Francis-type turbine, with a combined normal operating capacity of about 160 MW. The upgrade involved installation of a new runner and wicket gates, and upgrades to electrical and mechanical components.

Based on information provided by the licensee, FERC certified a historical generation baseline of 971,501.3 MWh for the powerhouse, and generation with improvements of 974,522.3 MWh. FERC certified incremental generation of 3,021 MWh. PG&E said the percentage of generation due to improvements totaled 0.31 percent.

Since passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, FERC has certified incremental hydropower generation at more than a dozen projects for production tax credits. However, efficiency improvements or capacity additions must be placed in service before Jan. 1, 2009, to be eligible. Legislation is pending in Congress that would extend the in-service date. (HNN 5/21/08)

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