42 U.S. Code § 15881. Hydroelectric production incentives

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(a) Incentive payments

For electric energy generated and sold by a qualified hydroelectric facility during the incentive period, the Secretary shall make, subject to the availability of appropriations, incentive payments to the owner or operator of such facility. The amount of such payment made to any such owner or operator shall be as determined under subsection (e) of this section. Payments under this section may only be made upon receipt by the Secretary of an incentive payment application which establishes that the applicant is eligible to receive such payment and which satisfies such other requirements as the Secretary deems necessary. Such application shall be in such form, and shall be submitted at such time, as the Secretary shall establish.

(b) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section:
(1) Qualified hydroelectric facility

The term “qualified hydroelectric facility means a turbine or other generating device owned or solely operated by a non-Federal entity which generates hydroelectric energy for sale and which is added to an existing dam or conduit.

(2) Existing dam or conduit

The term “existing dam or conduit means any dam or conduit the construction of which was completed before August 8, 2005, and which does not require any construction or enlargement of impoundment or diversion structures (other than repair or reconstruction) in connection with the installation of a turbine or other generating device.

(3) Conduit

The term “conduit” has the same meaning as when used in section 823a(a)(2) of title 16.

The terms defined in this subsection shall apply without regard to the hydroelectric kilowatt capacity of the facility concerned, without regard to whether the facility uses a dam owned by a governmental or nongovernmental entity, and without regard to whether the facility begins operation on or after August 8, 2005.
(c) Eligibility window

Payments may be made under this section only for electric energy generated from a qualified hydroelectric facility which begins operation during the period of 10 fiscal years beginning with the first full fiscal year occurring after August 8, 2005.

(d) Incentive period

A qualified hydroelectric facility may receive payments under this section for a period of 10 fiscal years (referred to in this section as the “incentive period”). Such period shall begin with the fiscal year in which electric energy generated from the facility is first eligible for such payments.

(e) Amount of payment
(1) In general

Payments made by the Secretary under this section to the owner or operator of a qualified hydroelectric facility shall be based on the number of kilowatt hours of hydroelectric energy generated by the facility during the incentive period. For any such facility, the amount of such payment shall be 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour (adjusted as provided in paragraph (2)), subject to the availability of appropriations under subsection (g), except that no facility may receive more than $750,000 in 1 calendar year.

(2) Adjustments

The amount of the payment made to any person under this section as provided in paragraph (1) shall be adjusted for inflation for each fiscal year beginning after calendar year 2005 in the same manner as provided in the provisions of section 29(d)(2)(B)[1] of title 26, except that in applying such provisions the calendar year 2005 shall be substituted for calendar year 1979.

(f) Sunset

No payment may be made under this section to any qualified hydroelectric facility after the expiration of the period of 20 fiscal years beginning with the first full fiscal year occurring after August 8, 2005, and no payment may be made under this section to any such facility after a payment has been made with respect to such facility for a period of 10 fiscal years.

(g) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the purposes of this section $10,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2006 through 2015.

References in Text

Section 29 of title 26, referred to in subsec. (e)(2), was renumbered section 45K of title 26 by Pub. L. 109–58, title XIII, § 1322(a)(1), Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 1011.

[1]  See References in Text note below.