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Business Energy Tax Credit Program Announces Tier Three Screening Results
                                               Diana Enright
 Kathy Shinn
10-52  In Oregon 1-800-221-8035
Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) announced results today of its initial screening of 24 applications for the Tier Three Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) for renewable energy projects. Three applications are now eligible to move forward through the BETC Preliminary Certification process.
The BETC application process for renewable energy tax credits 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. Projects in Tier Three are those with project costs of $6 million and above, with a maximum tax credit of $10 million per project.
Twenty-four applicants applied under the Tier Three Opportunity Announcement which closed on July 30, 2010. ODOE staff determined that two applications were disqualified for not meeting the minimum qualifications. Program staff then reviewed and scored the remaining applications using selection criteria including:
  • Jobs and employment
  • Readiness to start and complete the project
  • Financial structure
  • Strength of Business Plan
  • Geographic area/local economic conditions
  • Payback period
The three high-scoring projects were identified within the $30 million in tax credits allocated for the Tier Three round. Those three applicants have been notified that they are eligible to proceed through technical review as part of the BETC pre-certification process. Information on the three eligible applications is posted at http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/docs/Renew/BETC-TierThreeTechnicalReview_Sept2010.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.
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.
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.