Pennsylvania Hydropower Upgrade Qualifies for PTC

Brookfield Power announced it has received an amendment to its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) operating license at its Piney Hydroelectric Generating Station in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. The amendment enables Brookfield Power to generate an additional 6% of green energy at the plant through an equipment modification project.

According to David Youlen, Brookfield Power’s vice president of New York operations, this is the first Brookfield Power project to be eligible for renewable production tax credits (PTC), which were implemented as part of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. “The FERC license amendment allows us to replace one of the turbine runners and modify the generator at this project, thereby increasing the output at this site from 28 MW to 31 MW,” said Youlen. “The modifications at the Piney plant, and at a variety of other hydropower facilities in New York, are part of Brookfield Power’s portfolio improvement plan,” Youlen stated. “The federal tax credit incentive helps justify the economics of placing additional units at existing plants and performing upgrades similar to the Piney runner modification,” said Youlen. The Piney plant currently operates three hydro turbines. As part of the modifications, Brookfield Power will replace the turbine runner of Unit #2, resulting in an increase from 5,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 5,600 cfs in the project’s maximum hydraulic capacity. The turbine output will increase from 8 MW to 12 MW. Modification of the equipment began in early June, and the incremental power increase will be available by the fall of 2006. Pending approval from the FERC, Brookfield Power’s portfolio improvement plan also proposes modifications/ upgrades at several hydropower projects in New York State that will add more than 19 MW of incremental power over the next year-and-a-half. “These are excellent examples of incremental hydropower projects that are being implemented — with minimal environmental impact — thanks to federal and state incentives. Hydropower is an important domestic energy supply that must be expanded to support global climate change initiatives,” said Youlen.