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Business Energy Tax Credit Program Announces Tier Two Screening Results

  Diana Enright
  Kathy Shinn
 10-34 In Oregon 1-800-221-8035
Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) announced results today of its initial screening of 33 applications for the Tier Two Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) for renewable energy projects. Ten applications are now eligible to move forward through the BETC Preliminary Certification process.
The BETC application process for renewable energy tax credits has changed as a result of legislation passed in 2010. Three tiers, based on tax credit amounts, were established with specific requirements, including a competitive review and award process for Tiers Two and Three. Tier Two includes projects with eligible project costs ranging from $500,000 to under $6 million, with a maximum tax credit of less than $3 million per project.
Thirty-three applicants applied under the first Tier Two Opportunity Announcement which opened on June 1, 2010 and closed on June 30, 2010. ODOE staff determined that 3 applications were incomplete. Program staff then reviewed and scored the remaining 30 applications using the following selection criteria:
  • Readiness to start and complete the project
  • Payback period
  • Jobs and employment
  • Cost ratio of power produced
  • Geographic area/local economic conditions
  • Strength of Business Plan
Five applications were dropped that did not meet various eligibility requirements. Ten high-scoring projects were identified within the $10 million in tax credits allocated for this first Tier Two round. Those ten applicants have been notified that they are eligible to proceed through technical review as part of the BETC pre-certification process. Information on the 10 eligible applications is posted at http://oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/docs/Renew/BETC-TierTwoTechnicalReview_Aug2010.pdf 
Should one or more of the top ranking projects fail to meet any of the technical standards for preliminary BETC certification, or any applicant chooses to withdraw their application, the ODOE Director may choose to advance a lower-ranking project from the list of remaining applicants to the technical review process. Applicants who are not moved forward to technical review in this first round, may apply for the second Tier Two round that will open in October, 2010.
The changes to the BETC program, as required by the 2010 Legislature through House Bill 3680, are intended to better target incentives for those who invest in renewable energy resources and provide jobs in the green energy sector.
Temporary BETC rules took effect May 27, 2010 and will be finalized after a public hearing in the fall. The rules implement program caps, establish a three-tier system, and include project criteria.
Legislation caps BETCs for renewable projects at $300 million for the current biennium (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011). The new tiered system establishes funding cycles and allocations of tax credits unique to each tier. Tier One is for small projects under $500,000 in eligible project costs (maximum tax credit of less than $250,000); applications are processed on a first-come basis over the ongoing funding period. Both Tier Two and Tier Three require a competitive review and award process.
Tier Two includes eligible projects ranging from $500,000 to under $6 million (maximum tax credit of less than $3 million). Tier Three eligible project costs are $6 million and above (maximum tax credit $10 million). More details are available at the ODOE website at www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/TAX/BETC-RENEWABLES.shtml.