FERC certifies credits for hydro in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at hydroelectric projects in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Maine for renewable energy production tax credits.

Commission certifies replacement units at 108-MW Holtwood

FERC approved a request by PPL Holtwood LLC to certify incremental generation resulting from replacement of two 1.18-MW turbine-generators at the 108-MW Holtwood hydroelectric project in Pennsylvania.

FERC amended the project license (No. 1881) in October 2009 authorizing upgrades to Units 11 and 13, effective in December 2010. The upgrade work is separate from the 125-MW Holtwood Expansion project, which is more than doubling the overall installed capacity of the Holtwood project, on the Susquehanna River.

FERC certified, on Aug. 11, Holtwood's annual historical baseline generation of 598,552 MWh and incremental generation of 14,692 MWh, or a 2.5 percent increase from the improvements, for new annual generation of 613,244 MWh.

Unit upgrade wins tax credit for 7.92-MW Cascade

The commission approved a request by Great Lakes Hydro America LLC to certify incremental generation resulting from the upgrade of Unit 3 of the 7.92-MW Cascade hydroelectric project (No. 2327) on the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire. FERC said Aug. 4 that the improvement became operational in January 2010.

The commission certified Cascade's annual historical baseline generation of 52,407 MWh and incremental generation of 1,132 MWh, or a 2.16 percent increase, for new annual generation of 53,539 MWh.

FERC awards another certification to 37.232-MW Gulf Island-Deer Rips

FERC approved on Aug. 5 a request by NextEra Energy Maine Operating Services LLC for certification of incremental generation for an upgrade of Unit 3 at the 37.232-MW Gulf Island-Deer Rips project (No. 2283) on the Androscoggin River in Maine.

FERC previously certified upgrades of Units 1 and 2 at the project. Licensee FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC replaced the units' runners and rewound the generators. NextEra, an FPL Energy affiliate, then requested certification for upgrade of Unit 3, which went into service in December 2010.

FERC certified the project's annual historical generation baseline of 141,338 MWh and incremental generation of 2,797 MWh, a 1.98 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 144,135 MWh.

NextEra seeks certification of two more FPL projects in Maine

Meanwhile, NextEra Energy has filed for FERC certification of incremental generation at two more FPL Energy Maine projects in Maine.

NextEra asked FERC Aug. 8 to certify additional incremental generation at the 14.75-MW Weston project (No. 2325) on the Kennebec River in Somerset County, Maine. The commission issued an order in 2010 certifying incremental generation at Weston due to replacement of the Unit 1 turbine runner.

In its latest application, NextEra asked for certification of efficiency improvements for replacement of the Unit 3 turbine runner with a more efficient runner and the rewinding of its generator. The 4.5-MW unit went into service in December 2010.

NextEra said the project has an annual historical generation baseline of 88,705 MWh and incremental generation of 2,228 MWh, a 2.51 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 90,933 MWh.

NextEra also filed July 18, asking FERC to certify incremental generation at the 7.2-MW Bonny Eagle project (No. 2329) on the Saco River in Maine.

The operator asked for certification of efficiency improvements due to replacement of 339 feet of wooden flashboards with an inflatable flashboard system. The flashboard system improves head pond control and re-establishes the head pond after high flow events in a timelier manner.

NextEra said the project has an annual historical generation baseline of 49,508 MWh and incremental generation of 1,539 MWh, a 3.1 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 51,047 MWh.

Duke seeks tax credits for new 31.5-MW Bridgewater

Duke Energy Carolinas LLC filed Aug. 10 for FERC certification of incremental generation at the Bridgewater development of its 724.4-MW Catawba-Wateree hydroelectric project (No. 2232) in South Carolina and North Carolina.

FERC issued an order in July amending the project license to allow Duke to replace the 20-MW Bridgewater development with a new 31.5-MW powerhouse. The work is being performed to meet FERC dam stability guidelines for Linville Dam. Duke also is awaiting issuance of a relicense for the entire Catawba-Wateree project.

The new Bridgewater powerhouse is to replace two existing main generating units and add a new minimum flow unit. Upon completion in 2011, generation is to increase due to the addition of the minimum flow unit and due to efficiency improvements and a small hydraulic capacity increase from the replacement units.

Duke said the Bridgewater development has an annual historical generation baseline of 56,359 MWh and incremental generation of 6,781 MWh, a 12 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 63,140 MWh.

Minimum flow unit to be added for tax credit at 4-MW North Hartland

North Hartland LLC filed Aug. 5, asking FERC to certify additional incremental generation at the 4-MW North Hartland hydroelectric project on the Ottauquechee River in Windsor County, Vt.

FERC certified the project (No. 2816) in 2009 for efficiency improvements achieved from modifying a penstock and control system, and from other work involving interconnection equipment, and a turbine and generator cooling system.

The licensee now seeks certification of incremental generation to come from the addition of a 137-kW minimum flow turbine-generator at North Hartland, which when completed in late 2011 is to increase total project capacity to 4.137 MW.

North Hartland said the project has an annual historical generation baseline of 11,318 MWh and incremental generation of 749 MWh, a 6.62 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 12,067 MWh.

Certification sought again for upgrade at 721-MW Clark Fork

Avista Utilities filed again for certification of incremental generation at the 721-MW Clark Fork project (No. 2058) on the Clark Fork River in Idaho and Montana. The current filing cites an increase at the project's 456-MW Noxon Rapids development in Montana.

FERC earlier this year certified or recertified for production tax credits the incremental generation resulting from three separate upgrades at Clark Fork.

Avista now seeks certification of incremental generation due to efficiency improvements from installation of a new turbine runner on Noxon Rapids Unit 2. The unit was placed in service in May.

The licensee said Clark Fork has an annual historical generation baseline of 2,750,464 MWh and incremental generation of 9,549 MWh, a 0.35 percent increase, for new total generation of 2,760,013 MWh.

Alcoa seeks certification for first phase upgrade of 140-MW Cheoah

Alcoa Power Generating Inc. has asked FERC to certify incremental generation for the first phase of its upgrade of the 140-MW Cheoah development of its 380-MW Tapoco hydroelectric project (No. 2169) on the Little Tennessee and Cheoah rivers in Tennessee.

Alcoa cites incremental generation from replacement of turbine runners, generators, wicket gates, and related equipment of Units 1 and 2 of the Cheoah development, to be complete in March 2012. Once four of Cheoah's five turbine-generators are replaced with high-efficiency units, the project's original installed capacity of 118 MW will increase to 140 MW as authorized by a 2009 license amendment approved by FERC.

The licensee said the Cheoah development has an annual historical generation baseline of 511,700 MWh and incremental generation of 21,000 MWh, a 4 percent increase, for new total generation of 532,700 MWh.

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.



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