FERC certifies tax credits for two New England projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental hydropower generation at two New England projects to be eligible for renewable energy production tax credits.

70.809-MW Penobscot Mills

FERC issued an order certifying incremental generation for efficiency improvements resulting from turbine runner upgrades at the East Millinocket and Millinocket powerhouses, part of the 70.809-MW Penobscot Mills project (No. 2458) in Maine.

Licensee Great Lakes Hydro America LLC reported it completed upgrades on May 21, 2007, and March 1, 2008, for Unit 2 and Unit 1 at East Millinocket. At Millinocket, it returned four units to service from Dec. 18, 2006, to Aug. 20, 2007.

For East Millinocket, FERC certified a historical generation baseline of 38,040 MWh and incremental generation of 3,800 MWh. Generation due to the improvements totaled 10 percent. For Millinocket, FERC certified historical generation of 201,500 MWh and incremental generation totaling 13,400 MWh. Generation due to improvements totaled 6.66 percent.

2.7-MW Woronoco

FERC also certified incremental generation for Woronoco Hydro LLC’s 2.7-MW Woronoco project (No. 2631) on the Westfield River in Massachusetts. Work at the project, completed March 15, included an authorized addition of capacity, upgrading of turbine-generator units, and operating control and maintenance.

The commission certified a historical generation baseline of 6,773 MWh, generation with improvements of 9,936 MWh, and incremental generation of 3,163 MWh. The improvements increased generation by 46.7 percent.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Internal Revenue Code to apply the tax credit to incremental production gains from efficiency improvements or capacity additions to existing hydroelectric facilities placed in service after Aug. 8, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2009. The act requires that FERC certify historic average annual hydropower production and the percentage of average annual hydropower production at the facility attributable to efficiency improvements or additions of capacity.

Bills pending in Congress would extend the in-service date of renewable energy projects eligible for expiring renewable energy production tax credits. (HNN 4/21/08) Since passage of the Energy Policy Act, FERC has certified incremental hydropower generation at more than a dozen projects for production tax credits. (HNN 3/27/08)

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