30 CFR 1206.354 - How do I determine generating deductions?
(a) If you determine the value of your geothermal resources under § 1206.352(b)(1)(i) of this subpart, you may deduct your reasonable actual costs incurred to generate electricity from the plant tailgate value of the electricity (usually the transmission-reduced value of the delivered electricity). You may deduct the actual costs you incur for generating electricity under your arm's-length power plant contract.
(1) You must base your generating costs deduction on your actual annual costs associated with the construction and operation of a geothermal power plant.
(i) You must determine your monthly generating deduction by multiplying the annual generating cost rate (in dollars per kilowatt-hour) by the amount of plant tailgate electricity measured (or computed) for the reporting month. The generating cost rate is determined from the annual amount of your plant tailgate electricity.
(ii) You must redetermine your generating cost rate annually either at the beginning of the same month of the year in which the power plant was placed into service or at a time concurrent with the beginning of your annual corporate accounting period. The period you select must coincide with the same period chosen for the transmission deduction under § 1206.353(b)(1). After you choose a deduction period, you may not later elect to use a different deduction period without ONRR approval.
(2) Your generating costs are your actual power plant costs during the reporting period, including:
(i) Operating and maintenance expenses under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section;
(ii) Overhead under paragraph (f) of this section; and either
(iii) Depreciation under paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section and a return on undepreciated capital investment under paragraphs (g) and (i) of this section; or
(iv) A return on capital investment in the power plant under paragraphs (g) and (j) of this section.
(1) Allowable capital costs under paragraph (b) of this section are generally those for depreciable fixed assets (including costs of delivery and installation of capital equipment) that are an integral part of the power plant or are required by the design specifications of the power conversion cycle.
(i) You may include a return on capital you invested in the purchase of real estate for a power plant site if:
(A) The purchase is necessary; and,
(B) The surface is not part of the Federal lease.
(ii) The rate of return will be the same rate determined under paragraph (k) of this section.
(3) You may not deduct the costs of gathering systems and other production-related facilities.
(d) Allowable operating expenses include:
(1) Operations supervision and engineering;
(2) Operations labor;
(3) Auxiliary fuel and/or utilities used to operate the power plant during down time;
(6) Ad valorem property taxes;
(8) Supplies; and
(9) Any other directly allocable and attributable operating expense.
(e) Allowable maintenance expenses include:
(1) Maintenance of the power plant;
(2) Maintenance of equipment;
(3) Maintenance labor; and
(4) Other directly allocable and attributable maintenance expenses that you can document.
(f) Overhead directly attributable and allocable to the operation and maintenance of the power plant is an allowable expense. State and Federal income taxes and severance taxes and other fees, including royalties, are not allowable expenses.
(g) To compute costs associated with capital investment, a lessee may use either depreciation with a return on undepreciated capital investment, or a return on capital investment in the power plant. After a lessee has elected to use either method, the lessee may not later elect to change to the other alternative without ONRR approval.
(1) To compute depreciation, you must use a straight-line depreciation method based on the life of the geothermal project, usually the term of the electricity sales contract, or other depreciation period acceptable to ONRR. You may not depreciate equipment below a reasonable salvage value.
(2) A change in ownership of the power plant does not alter the depreciation schedule established by the original lessee-owner for purposes of computing generating costs.
(3) With or without a change in ownership, you may depreciate a power plant only once.
(i) To calculate a return on undepreciated capital investment, multiply the remaining undepreciated capital balance as of the beginning of the period for which you are calculating the generating deduction allowance by the rate of return provided in paragraph (k) of this section.
(j) To compute a return on capital investment in the power plant, multiply the allowable capital investment in the power plant by the rate of return determined pursuant to paragraph (k) of this section. There is no allowance for depreciation.
(k) The rate of return must be 2.0 multiplied by the industrial rate associated with Standard & Poor's BBB rating. The BBB rate must be the monthly average rate as published in Standard & Poor's Bond Guide for the first month for which the allowance is applicable. You must redetermine the rate at the beginning of each subsequent calendar year.
(l) Calculate the deduction for generating costs based on your cost of generating electricity through each individual power plant.
(1) For new power plants or arrangements, base your initial deduction on estimates of allowable electricity generation costs for the applicable period. Use the most recently available operations data for the power plant or, if such data are not available, use estimates based on data for similar power plants.
(2) When actual cost information is available, you must amend your prior Form ONRR-2014 reports to reflect actual generating cost deductions for each month for which you reported and paid based on estimated generating costs. You must pay any additional royalties due (together with interest computed under § 1218.302 of this chapter). You are entitled to a credit for or refund of any overpaid royalties.
(n) In conducting reviews and audits, ONRR may require you to submit arm's-length power plant contracts, production agreements, operating agreements, related documents and all other data used to calculate the deduction. You must comply with any such requirements within the time ONRR specifies. Recordkeeping requirements are found at part 1212 of this chapter.
(o) At the completion of power plant dismantlement and salvage operations, you may report a credit for or request a refund of royalty in an amount equal to the royalty rate times the amount by which actual power plant dismantlement costs exceed actual income attributable to salvage of the power plant.