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Senate committee approves hydroelectric power tax credit extension

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A bill that would extend tax credits for hydroelectric power was approved today by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

The bill, called the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act, or EXPIRE, includes a two-year extension of production and investment tax credits for hydropower and other renewable energy technologies.

Per present law, "qualified energy resources" including some hydroelectric, and marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy received a 1.1 cent per kWh through Dec. 31, 2013.

The bill's approval by the committee is being lauded by the National Hydropower Association, which said the tax credit has helped spur dozens of hydro project improvements.

"Since 2005, over 120 upgrades have been financed in part by these incentives, resulting in an average 10% generation increase," NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci said. "That's tens of thousands more American homes with access to clean, reliable hydropower. As we look to meet the nation's energy, environmental and economic challenges, hydropower will have a vital role to play and the production tax credit encourages developers to continue its expansion.

"We urge the Senate to move quickly to pass the extenders package and look forward to working with House leadership on similar legislation as soon as possible."

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