Fri April 27, 2012
Congress debating federal funding for hydropower projects on Mississippi
Federal funding for hydro-power companies is up in the air.
Hydro-power producers receive a little over 1 cent per kilowatt hour in tax credits. That incentive expires next year, but the hydro-power industry is pushing to have it extended.
Jon Guidroz is the Project Development Director at Free Flow Power, a company looking to develop five hydro-power projects on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, "The tax credits are extremely important to the hydro-power industry and to continuing to develop these utility scale, global energy projects."
Guidroz says Free Flow Power is not putting anything on hold at this point, but the future of projects could depend on the tax credit extension.
Hydro Green Energy also wants to develop on the Upper Mississippi. Vice President of Corporate Affairs Mark Stover says tax credits don't only help with project development, "Any money that can flow to a power project for its green energy attributes allows us at the end of the day to lower our power price."
Stover says Hydro Green Energy is not looking to fast-track projects like they usually would due to federal uncertainty.
President Obama's proposed budget released in February cut funding to hydro-power research and development. But this week, a House committee voted to restore $45 million. The Senate is expected to appropriate even more money.