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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2012

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., introduced legislation to expand the 30 percent renewable energy investment credit to microturbine technology. H.R. 3394, called the American Microturbine Manufacturing and Clean Energy Deployment Act, would make microturbine facilities eligible for the credit. Microturbines, which are smaller versions of the large turbines used in baseload electric generating stations, can extract thermal and electrical energy from a variety of fuels including biodiesel. If enacted, Sanchez's office estimated that the bill would create more than 2,000 jobs immediately. Enough new microturbines to offset 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be placed in service within the credit's first year, Sanchez said. A copy of H.R. 3394 is available online at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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California's Franchise Tax Board (FTB) released guidance in November stating that it will treat S.B. 401, which excludes Section 1603 grant payments from gross income for state tax credit purposes, as valid law. The FTB also said it will continue to enforce that bill's provisions despite the passage of Proposition 26, also known as the Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act, which appeared to overturn S.B. 401. Although the Legislature failed to meet a November deadline to conform S.B. 401's provisions to Proposition 26, the FTB determined that the state's constitution requires it to enforce S.B. 401 until an appellate court voids all or part of that bill.

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U.S. Geothermal Inc. (USG) subsidiary USG Nevada LLC and Ares Capital Corporation have signed a bridge loan agreement that will monetize the Section 1603 cash grant associated with phase one of the San Emidio Geothermal Project in Washoe Country, Nev. The agreement consists of an initial funding of $7.5 million for USG Nevada as well as another $1.5 million after phase one is placed in service. Cash grant proceeds will be used to repay the Ares Capital bridge loan facility, with any remaining balance payable to USG Nevada. The San Emidio project is being developed in two phases under a 19.9 megawatt (MW) power purchase agreement. USG Nevada expects the 8.6 MW phase one power plant to be operational by the end of 2011; phase two is scheduled to come on line during the third quarter of 2013.

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The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) named six new members to its board of directors for 2012. The new members are Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs at POET; Joseph Desmond, senior vice president, government affairs and communications at BrightSource Energy Inc.; Nicholas Eisenberger, managing partner at Pure Energy Partners; Matt Ferguson, national renewable energy practice leader at Reznick Group; Dan Foley, CEO of ACCIONA Energy North America; and J. Andrew Murphy, executive vice president, strategy and M&A at NRG Energy Inc.

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The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a reform of federal surface leasing regulations for American Indian lands that the department says will spur renewable energy development. The proposed reform identifies specific processes through which the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) must view leases so that the processes for residential, business and renewable energy development are separate and distinguishable. The existing regulations use the same approach for all development types. More information about the proposed rule and how to submit comments is available at www.doi.gov.

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The Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) recognized Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., with a 2011 Green Power Leadership Award for his role in shaping the renewable energy market during the past year. Bingaman received the Green Power Pioneer Award, which goes to an individual who has demonstrated continuous achievement, vision and dedication to renewable energy. CRS cosponsors the awards program with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

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