Last month AMP announced it received notice from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, that the organization has been awarded an allocation of $143.7 million in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). CREBs are tax-credit bonds that allow governmental agencies, public power providers and electric cooperatives to access lower-cost financing in order to develop new renewable generation projects. These bonds allow investors to receive federal tax credits in lieu of payment of 70 percent of the interest on the bonds.
One of these renewable generation hydroelectric projects hits close to home at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam in Gallia County where the company hopes harness the power of the Ohio River to produce electricity. The project is being developed on the Ohio side of the river and is set to receive $20 million of the $143.7 million in CREBs.
According to AMP, that $143.7 million represents the largest allocation of CREBs to a single entity this year. In total, more than $1.4 billion in CREBs were allocated to 37 public power providers and cooperatives, the company said in a statement.
“Beyond the practical benefits of lowered financing costs, this action by the IRS also serves to validate our position of providing a range of energy options to our member communities,” said AMP President and CEO Marc S. Gerken.
In all, AMP is receiving CREBs allocations to help finance eight renewable energy projects, utilizing four technologies (hydroelectric, wind, biomass/landfill gas and solar) in five states. According to the company, the bulk of the IRS allocations ($107 million) will go to AMP’s five hydroelectric projects currently under development, with three in Kentucky and one each in Ohio, including the one at R.C. Byrd, and West Virginia at Willow Island near Parkersburg, W.Va. Ohio also gained an allocation for a landfill gas project, while other allocations are for a solar project in Virginia and a wind project in Pennsylvania.
“This geographical and technological distribution provides a good indication of the broad range of projects we’ve researched and are moving forward with,” Gerken said. “AMP believes all forms of generation — if reliable and economically feasible — have a place in the portfolio of options available to our member communities, and we are working to make that possible.”
According to AMP, by state, the projects and their allocations are:
• Ohio, R.C. Byrd Hydroelectric—$20 million; Wood County (Bowling Green) Landfill Gas — $700,000;
• West Virginia, Willow Island Hydroelectric — $20 million.
• Kentucky, Cannelton Hydroelectric — $23 million; Meldahl Hydroelectric — $20 million; Smithland Hydroelectric — $24 million.
• Pennsylvania, Berlin Wind Generation — $7 million.
• Virginia, Danville Solar Project — $29 million.
AMP officials stated that in two previous rounds of CREBs allocations, the company was granted a total of $29.2 million to assist in the financing of hydro and wind projects. Of that, $3.5 million went toward the existing AMP Wind Farm near Bowling Green. The Berlin wind project has $3.1 million in allocations. Four of the hydroelectric projects received the remaining allocations, with $8 million for R.C. Byrd, $5.5 million for Willow Island, $4.9 million for Cannelton and $4.2 million for Smithland.