FERC certifies production tax credits for 380.39-MW Safe Harbor

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at the 380.39-MW Safe Harbor hydroelectric project in Pennsylvania for renewable energy production tax credits.

FERC also has received applications for certification from another five projects in Maine, Connecticut, and West Virginia.

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 certifies incremental generation at Safe Harbor

Responding to an application by Safe Harbor Water Power Corp., FERC certified incremental generation at 380.39-MW Safe Harbor (No. 1025) on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River.

Safe Harbor cited upgrades to the Unit 6 turbine-generator at Safe Harbor. FERC found the project had an annual historical generation baseline of 1,088,950 MWh and total incremental generation of 6,261 MWh, a .57 percent increase, to a new total annual generation of 1,095,211 MWh.

NextEra seeks certification of two Maine projects

Three Maine hydro projects have requested certification of their incremental generation, including two licensed to FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy. Earlier this year, NextEra won certification for production tax credits for four other FPL projects in Maine.

NextEra Energy Maine Operating Services LLC currently seeks certification of incremental generation at the 36.3-MW Lewiston Falls project (No. 2302) on the Androscoggin River and the 10.5-MW Hiram project (No. 2530) on the Saco River.

NextEra reports incremental generation at both projects as a result of adding inflatable bladders in place of conventional wooden flashboards on the projects’ spillways.

The applicant reported Lewiston Falls has annual historical baseline generation of 140,451 MWh and new annual generation of 143,360 MWh, an increase of 2,909 MWh or 2.07 percent. NextEra said Hiram has annual historical baseline generation of 53,052 MWh and new annual generation of 53,574 MWh, an increase of 522 MWh or .98 percent.

Certification of another Messalonskee development sought

Messalonskee Stream Hydro LLC has asked FERC to certify incremental generation at another Maine project, 6.3-MW Messalonskee (No. 2556) on Messalonskee Stream. Specifically, the applicant cites incremental generation from efficiency improvements at the project’s 2.9-MW Oakland development.

Messalonskee, an affiliate of Essex Hydro Associates LLC, said it computerized control of the turbine-generator at Oakland to optimize regulation of flows, improving the power quality, and wasting less water. The applicant said the development has annual historical baseline generation of 13,473 MWh and new annual generation of 13,665 MWh, an increase of 191.9 MWh or 1.42 percent.

In 2011, FERC rejected a request by Messalonskee Stream Hydro to certify incremental generation of 100 percent for the 1.8-MW Union Gas hydro development, another part of the Messalonskee project. The third Messalonsee development is 1.6-MW Rice Rips.

Messalonskee had reconstructed Union Gas, inoperable since 2001, and resumed generation in 2007, arguing its historic baseline generation should be zero. FERC disagreed, saying reconstruction of the dam and restoration of generation was maintenance rather than upgrade or improvement in generation efficiency that would entitle it to production tax credits.

Generator rehab cited for increase at 575-kW Putnam

Essex Energy Partnership LLC requested FERC certification of incremental generation at the 575-kW Putnam project (No. 5645) on the Quinebaug River in northeastern Connecticut.

Essex cited the complete rebuilding of the Unit 2 generator, with annual historical baseline generation of 2,632 MWh and new annual generation of 2,976 MWh, an increase of 334 MWh or 13 percent.

Brookfield seeks certification of 5.45-MW Glen Ferris redevelopment

Brookfield Renewable Energy Group seeks FERC certification of incremental generation at the 5.45-MW Glen Ferris development, part of the 107.45-MW Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris project (No. 2512) in West Virginia. The project’s other development is 102-MW Hawks Nest.

Brookfield has been redeveloping and commissioning Glen Ferris, which had not operated since 2003. The developer said it replaced runners and other components of eight turbines, installed new governors for two units, rewound two generators, and installed new controls and a substation. It said the development’s installed capacity is to increase to 6.12 MW from 5.45 MW.

Brookfield said the development’s annual historical baseline generation is 36,728 MWh with new annual generation of 41,482 MWh, an increase of 4,754 MWh or 12.9 percent.

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