FERC certifies production tax credits for hydro in five states

WASHINGTON 7/2/12 (PennWell) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at five hydroelectric projects in five states for renewable energy production tax credits.

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.

PG&E wins certification for two California projects

FERC approved on June 15 requests by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for certification of generation at two projects on the North Fork Feather River in California.

PG&E cited incremental generation from installation of more efficient turbine runners on the two Francis units of the 142.83-MW Poe project (No. 2107). FERC found Poe had an annual historical generation baseline of 565,105 MWh and total incremental generation of 7,384 MWh, a 1.3 percent increase, as a result of upgrading Unit 2 in February 2011 for a new total annual generation of 572,489 MWh. Using that new baseline of 572,489 MWh, FERC also found total incremental generation of 4,426 MWh, a .8 percent increase, as a result of upgrading Unit 1 effective in October 2012 for another new total annual generation of 576,915 MWh.

PG&E also cited incremental generation from replacement of two generating units of the 193-MW Rock Creek-Cresta project (No. 1962) which includes the 123-MW Rock Creek and 70-MW Cresta developments. FERC has relicensed the project, authorizing replacement of two generating units at Rock Creek which upped the development’s capacity from 112 MW and the total project capacity from 182 MW.

FERC found the Rock Creek development had an annual historical generation baseline of 498,279 MWh and total incremental generation of 23,070 MWh, a 4.6 percent increase, as a result of upgrading Unit 2 effective in October 2012 for a new total annual generation of 521,349 MWh. Using that new baseline of 521,349 MWh, FERC also found total incremental generation of 19,682 MWh, a 3.8 percent increase, as a result of upgrading Unit 1 effective in July 2013 for another new total annual generation of 541,031 MWh.

Alcoa wins certification for additional upgrade at 140-MW Cheoah

FERC approved a request by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. to certify incremental generation from the upgrade of a fourth turbine-generator of the 140-MW Cheoah development of its 380-MW Tapoco hydroelectric project (No. 2169) on the Little Tennessee and Cheoah rivers in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Alcoa cited incremental generation from replacement of turbine runner, generator, wicket gates, and related equipment of Unit 3 of the Cheoah development, scheduled to be complete in April 2013. FERC previously certified incremental generation from upgrades to Units 1, 2, and 4.

FERC found the Cheoah development had an annual historical generation baseline of 537,900 MWh and total incremental generation of 3,300 MWh, a .613 percent increase, to a new total annual generation of 541,200 MWh.

Alcoa also has filed an application with FERC to certify incremental generation from the upgrade of Unit 1 of the 109-MW Narrows development of its 210-MW Yadkin hydroelectric project (No. 2197) on the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

Alcoa cited incremental generation from replacement of the turbine runner and related equipment of Unit 1, which was completed in April 2009. The licensee said the Narrows development had an annual historical generation baseline of 530,700 MWh and total incremental generation of 4,000 MWh, a 1 percent increase, to a new total annual generation of 534,700 MWh.

PPL Montana wins certification for 60-MW Rainbow replacement

Licensee PPL Montana LLC won FERC certification of incremental generation from replacement of the 35-MW Rainbow development with a new 60-MW Rainbow plant on the Missouri River in Montana.

The new Rainbow powerhouse, which is under construction, is a development of the 334.29-MW Missouri-Madison hydroelectric project.

FERC found the Rainbow development had an annual historical generation baseline of 257,846 MWh and total incremental generation of 135,155 MWh, a 52.41 percent increase, to a new total annual generation of 393,001 MWh.

NextEra wins certification of 83.7-MW Wyman in Maine

FERC approved a request by NextEra Energy Maine Operating Services LLC for certification of incremental generation at the 83.7-MW Wyman project (No. 2329) in Maine, licensed to NextEra subsidiary FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC.

FERC recently approved requests by NextEra to certify incremental generation at two other projects in Maine, 14.75-MW Weston and 7.2-MW Bonny Eagle.

Based on an upgrade to Wyman Unit 3, FERC found the project had an annual historical generation baseline of 376,918 MWh and incremental generation of 12,999 MWh, a 3.45 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 389,917 MWh.

Tax credits sought for 380.39-MW Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor Water Power Corp. filed an application with FERC June 22 seeking certification of incremental generation at the 380.39-MW Safe Harbor hydroelectric project (No. 1025) on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Safe Harbor cited upgrades to the Unit 6 turbine-generator at Safe Harbor. The licensee said Safe Harbor 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.

Exelon seeks certification for 880-MW Muddy Run

Utility Exelon has filed applications with FERC for certification of incremental generation from switchgear replacement, replacement of a turbine runner, and installation of a headcover packing box at the 880-MW Muddy Run Pumped-Storage project (No. 2365) on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Exelon said replacing switchgear on Units 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8 would reduce downtime for inspections, thereby increasing incremental generation between .64 and .85 percent for each unit. Replacing the runner of Unit 7 is to increase incremental generation of Unit 7 and Unit 8, which share a penstock, by .8 percent. It said installing a headcover packing box would increase incremental generation .61 percent.

Great Lakes Hydro seeks certification 70.809-MW Penobscot Mills

Great Lakes Hydro America LLC filed an application with FERC seeking certification of incremental generation from additional turbine runner upgrades at the 36.1-MW Millinocket development, part of the 70.809-MW Penobscot Mills project (No. 2458) in Maine.

In 2008, FERC certified incremental generation from turbine runner upgrades to four units at Millinocket and two at another development, East Millinocket.

Great Lakes now seeks certification for upgrades of Units 2 and 3 at Millinocket. It said Millinocket has a historical generation baseline of 199,140 MWh and incremental generation totaling 4,670 MWh, a 2.3 percent increase, for a new total annual generation of 203,810 MWh.

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