FERC certifies 13.3-MW California project for tax credit

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental hydropower generation of the 13.3-MW Forks of Butte project in Butte County, Calif., making it eligible for a production tax credit.

Licensee H&H Engineering Inc. requested certification for efficiency improvements from a new transformer installed in November 2005. It also cited the use of an additional 25 cubic feet per second of water for a capacity increase authorized by the commission in 2003.

The company submitted its application for the project (No. 6896) July 28, 2006. FERC issued an order Jan. 18, certifying incremental generation of 1,850 MWh and setting the percentage of additional generation due to improvements at 4.87 percent. The project’s historical generation baseline is 38,000 MWh; generation following improvements totals 39,850 MWh.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Internal Revenue Code to allow a tax credit of .9 cent per kWh for incremental production gains from efficiency improvements or capacity additions to existing hydro facilities. 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 projects in Vermont, New York, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California and Oregon. (HNN 12/12/06)

Members of Congress have asked President Bush to propose extending the renewable energy production tax credit program for five years, to 2013. The 109th Congress extended credits for one year, to Dec. 31, 2008. (HNN 1/19/07)

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