Powering Strong Communities

Hydropower ITC Bill Makes Tax Incentive Available to Public Power Utilities

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would establish a 30 percent investment tax credit for hydropower environmental and safety improvements. The tax incentive is available to public power utilities through elective pay.

Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) introduced H.R. 6653, the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity and River Restoration Act this month.

H.R. 6653 is a companion to legislation introduced in October in the Senate (S. 2994) by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

The ITC in the Inflation Reduction Act only applied to generation upgrades at hydropower facilities, not for environmental and safety upgrades necessary to maintain existing facilities and complete the relicensing process.

According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, licenses for more than 500 hydropower and pumped storage facilities – representing more than 23 gigawatts of renewable, reliable energy generation – must be renewed by 2035.

 Without the tax incentive support in the bill, these facilities may close, threatening the reliability of the grid and the nation’s ability to achieve emission reduction goals, the American Public Power Association said.

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