U.S. DOE invites applications for hydropower incentive payments

Department of Energy Seal

The U.S. Department of Energy invites applications for hydropower incentive payments to developers who have added hydropower generating capacity to existing facilities. Applications are due by Feb. 19.

In congressional appropriations for fiscal year 2014, DOE received funds for the first time to support the hydroelectric incentive payment program in Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DOE said the conference committee report to the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill included $3.6 million for incentive payments to conventional hydropower under the 2005 program.

The funding is available for incentive payments to owners or operators of qualified hydroelectric facilities based on the number of kWh of hydropower generated by the facility in 2013. Qualified applicants may receive up to 2.3 cents per kWh for hydropower generated during the incentive period, with maximum payments of $750,000.

Qualified owners or operators who have added generation after 2005 to a non-powered dam or conduit built prior to 2005 are eligible to apply.

DOE published a guidance document and announced an open application period for hydropower incentive payments in a Federal Register notice published Jan. 20.

The guidance says:

  • A new hydropower turbine or other generating device must be owned or solely operated by a non-federal entity, must have been initiated on or after Oct. 1, 2005, and must include conventional or new and innovative technologies capable of continuous operation.
  • The equipment must have been added to an existing dam or conduit constructed before Aug. 8, 2005, and must have involved only modifications with no construction or enlargement of impoundment or diversion structures.
  • The claimed electricity production and sale must be net electric energy and must have occurred in the calendar year Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2013.

The guidance is available on the Federal Register Internet site at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/01/20/2015-00781/wind-and-water-power-program-guidance-and-application-for-hydroelectric-incentive-payments.

Application information must be sent by e-mail to hydroincentive@ee.doe.gov by midnight, Eastern time, Feb. 19. DOE recommended applicants apply early for the Federal System for Award Management account required for submitting a request for payment to the federal government. It said the process can take 10 days or more and the information must be included in the application.

For information, contact by e-mail Steven Lindenberg, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE-4), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20585-0121; (1) 202-586-2783; E-mail: hydroincentive@ee.doe.gov.

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