U.S. hydroelectric power sector could benefit from pair of incentive programs

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Congress today announced details of a year-end tax deal that could provide a two-year extension on provisions for hydroelectric and marine hydrokinetic resources.

Per Section 187 of the proposed "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015", hydro and MHK technologies would receive a two-year production and investment tax credit extension through 2016 (one year retroactive for 2015).

The deal is the same for all renewables minus wind and solar, which received extensions of five years through 2019 (one year retroactive for 2015). However, both the wind and solar industries would be required to accept a phaseout of their incentives over that timespan.

A full analysis of provided by the House Committee on Ways and Means can be viewed here.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy has approved a second round of funding for qualifying hydropower projects under Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Per EPAct 2005, eligible plants at which a new turbine or other hydroelectric generating device has been added to existing powered and non-powered dams or conduits that were completed before Aug. 8, 2005.

DOE's latest round of Hydroelectric Production Incentives allow for up to 2.3 cents per kWh -- indexed for inflation from 1.7 cents per kWh -- with maximum payments of up to $750,000 per year for energy generated by facilities during the incentive period.

Applications for the new round of Section 242 funding are due by Feb. 1, 2016. Full details are available via the Office of the Federal Register.

For more policy and regulatory news, visit here.

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