FERC certifies 168.4-MW North Georgia project for tax credits

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at the 168.4-MW North Georgia hydroelectric project in Georgia and South Carolina for renewable energy production tax credits.

Multi-state utility Southern Co. sought the federal production tax credit for efficiency improvements from upgrading and replacing five turbine-generators that were placed in service in 2008.

The six-dam, six-powerhouse North Georgia project (No. 2354) is on the Tugalo River in Georgia and the Tallulah River in South Carolina.

In a Dec. 10, 2009, order, FERC certified a historical generation baseline total of 165,517 megawatt-hours for the five units, and incremental generation from the improvements of 17,098 MWh, an increase of 10.33 percent in generation.

PPL Montana seeks certification for Cochrane plant

Hydro operator PPL Montana has requested certification of incremental generation at its Cochrane hydroelectric development, part of the 327.85-MW Missouri-Madison project on the Missouri River system in Montana.

In a Nov. 25 filing, PPL Montana said it seeks certification for production tax credits due to the rewind of the Cochrane Unit 1 generator, allowing greater maximum output during periods of plentiful river flows. The Unit 1 rewind went into service in January 2008.

Although PPL Montana also rewound the Unit 2 generator, the work was performed prior to the effective date for certification in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The hydro operator said the Unit 1 improvement resulted in a projected average annual production gain of 1,580 MWh.

Hydro operators recently asked FERC to certify incremental generation at the 4.675-MW Clyde River project in Vermont and the 4.1-MW Dry Creek project in Idaho for production tax credits. (HydroWorld 11/30/09)

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Internal Revenue Code to apply a production tax credit to incremental production gains from efficiency improvements or capacity additions to existing hydropower facilities placed in service after Aug. 8, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2014. The Internal Revenue Service determines whether to grant the credits after FERC certifies hydropower production. FERC has certified incremental generation for more than three dozen hydro projects since August 2005.

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