FERC certifies tax credits for hydro in eight states

WASHINGTON 4/5/12 (PennWell) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has certified incremental generation at hydroelectric projects in eight states for renewable energy production tax credits.

Alcoa wins certification for upgrades of 140-MW Cheoah

FERC approved requests by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. to certify incremental generation from upgrades of three turbine-generators 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 runners, generators, wicket gates, and related equipment of Units 1 and 2 of the Cheoah development, scheduled to be complete in March 2012. In a separate filing, it cited incremental generation from a similar upgrade to Unit 4, to be complete in October 2012.

FERC found the Cheoah development had an annual historical generation baseline of 511,700 MWh and total incremental generation of 26,200 MWh, a 5.12 percent increase, as a result of upgrading all three units, to a new total annual generation of 537,900 MWh.

Minnesota utility wins certification for 4.72-MW Little Falls

The commission approved a request by Minnesota utility Allete Inc. to certify incremental generation resulting from replacement of turbines and wicket gates of Units 5 and 6 in the second powerhouse of the 4.72-MW Little Falls project (No. 2352) on the Mississippi River in Morrison County, Minn.

FERC found Little Falls had an annual historical generation baseline of 4,112 MWh and incremental generation of 57.6 MWh, a 1.4 percent increase, for new total annual generation of 4,170 MWh.

FERC certifies increase at 1,080-MW Northfield Mountain

FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. won FERC certification of incremental generation from replacement of turbine runners with higher efficiency runners in Units 2 and 3 of the 1,080-MW Northfield Mountain pumped-storage project (No. 2485) on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.

FERC found Northfield Mountain had an annual historical generation baseline of 1,143,037 MWh and total incremental generation of 33,272 MWh, a 2.91 percent increase, as a result of upgrading both units, for new total generation of 1,176,310 MWh.

Another runner replacement certified for 4.675-MW Clyde River

FERC approved a request by Great Bay Hydro Corp. for certification of efficiency improvements at its 4.675-MW Clyde River project (No. 2306) near Newport, Vt. The improvements resulted from installation of a new turbine runner for Unit 2 of Clyde River's Newport development.

As a result, FERC certified the Clyde River project's annual historical baseline generation of 17,388 MWh and new annual generation of 18,042 MWh, an increase of 654 MWh or 3.76 percent.

FERC approved a similar request by Great Bay in 2011 for installation of a new runner for Unit 3 of the Newport development. It also certified incremental generation at Newport in 2006, after Great Bay rebuilt Newport Unit 3, which had not been operated for five years, replaced the hydraulic control system, and installed new electronic controls for all three units in the Newport development.

In 2009, FERC certified other efficiency improvements at Clyde River resulting from its proposed repowering of the project's West Charleston development, which has been out of service since 1998 due to the poor condition of its penstock.

NextEra wins certification of two FPL projects in Maine

FERC approved requests by NextEra Energy Maine Operating Services LLC for certification of incremental generation at two projects in Maine, 14.75-MW Weston and 7.2-MW Bonny Eagle, licensed to NextEra subsidiary FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC.

FERC certified additional incremental generation at Weston (No. 2325) on the Kennebec River in Somerset County, Maine. FPL Energy Maine replaced the Unit 3 turbine runner with a more efficient runner and rewound its generator. FERC previously certified incremental generation at Weston in 2010 due to replacement of the Unit 1 runner.

FERC found the project had 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.

FERC also certified incremental generation at Bonny Eagle (No. 2329) on the Saco River in Maine. FPL Energy Maine improved efficiency by replacement of 339 feet of wooden flashboards with an inflatable flashboard system that improved head pond control, and by installing an automated full-depth trash rake that reduced head loss as a result of full-depth raking.

FERC found Bonny Eagle had an annual historical generation baseline of 49,269 MWh and total incremental generation of 2,227 MWh, a 4.52 percent increase, as a result of both flashboard and trash rake work, for new total generation of 51,496 MWh.

New flashboards cited in filings for two more FPL Maine projects

NextEra Energy Maine Operating Services has filed additional requests for certification on behalf of FPL Energy Maine Hydro for replacement of flashboards with inflatable flashboard systems at two projects in Maine.

NextEra said the 7.812-MW West Buxton project (No. 2531) on the Saco River has annual historical baseline generation of 32,514 MWh and new annual generation of 32,977 MWh, an increase of 464 MWh or 1.42 percent.

It said the Deer Rips and Androscoggin 3 developments of the 37.232-MW Gulf Island-Deer Rips project (No. 2283) on the Androscoggin River have annual historical baseline generation of 61,867 MWh and new annual generation of 64,686 MWh, an increase of 2,819 MWh or 4.56 percent.

FERC certified incremental generation in 2011 for an upgrade of Unit 3 at the Gulf Island-Deer Rips.

Runner replacement wins certification for 1.28-MW Lower Great Falls

The commission approved a request by Somersworth Hydro Co. Inc. to certify incremental generation resulting from replacement of the Unit 3 turbine runner with a high efficiency runner at the 1.28-MW Lower Great Falls project (No. 4451) on the Salmon River in New Hampshire and Maine.

FERC certified Lower Great Falls' annual historical baseline generation of 3,609 MWh and incremental generation of 172 MWh, or a 4.77 percent increase from the improvements, for new annual generation of 3,781 MWh.

FERC certifies five unit upgrades at 14.245-MW St. Anthony Falls

FERC approved a request from Northern States Power Co. to certify incremental generation from upgrades to five turbine-generators at the 14.245-MW St. Anthony Falls project (No. 2056) on the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

FERC certified St. Anthony Falls' annual historical baseline generation of 94,942 MWh and total incremental generation of the five units of 17,313 MWh, or a total 18.23 percent increase from the improvements, for new annual generation of 112,256 MWh.

Duke wins tax credits for new 31.5-MW Bridgewater

The commission approved a request by Duke Energy Carolinas LLC for certification of incremental generation at the Bridgewater development of its 732.6-MW Catawba-Wateree hydroelectric project (No. 2232) in South Carolina and North Carolina.

FERC issued an order in 2011 amending the project's 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.

The new Bridgewater powerhouse replaces two main generating units and adds a new minimum flow unit. 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.

FERC found 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.

FERC certifies unit upgrade at 721-MW Clark Fork

FERC approved a request by Avista Utilities for additional certification of incremental generation at the 721-MW Clark Fork project (No. 2058) on the Clark Fork River in Idaho and Montana.

Certification is for efficiency improvements from installation of a new turbine runner on Unit 2 of the project's 456-MW Noxon Rapids development in Montana. In 2011, FERC certified or recertified the incremental generation resulting from three separate upgrades at Clark Fork.

FERC found 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.

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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