In a Dec. 1 letter to lawmakers, Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA), says that APPA strongly supports legislation, S. 2306, which would provide a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) for hydropower environmental and safety improvements.
“Hydropower is a reliable, resilient, and clean energy source. Hydroelectric generators can be started or stopped quickly, which make them more responsive than most other energy sources for meeting “peak” demand,” wrote Ditto in her letter.
The letter was sent to Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, Ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance.
She noted that hydropower’s “black start” capability also makes it especially valuable in restoring power when there are widespread outages or disruptions on the system. And, as an emissions-free, baseload source of power, hydropower can be key to meeting emissions reductions goals.
In the last decade, more than 49 hydropower facilities have surrendered their licenses, with the cost of relicensing being the major reason, according to the Department of Energy, Ditto said in the letter.
Upgrades to increase generation from hydropower already qualify for an ITC, but not environmental and safety investments needed to complete the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process. S. 2306 would close this gap.
“Importantly, we understand the bill has been revised to reflect changes to the tax code since its introduction. This includes the new refundable direct payment tax credit regime, which will allow hydropower owners of all types to benefit, and which APPA strongly supports,” Ditto said.