HEA-17-0003 - In the Matter of Riverside Hydro I, LLC

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On January 24, 2018, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal filed by Riverside Hydro I, LLC (“Riverside Hydro I”) of a determination issued by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In the determination, the EERE found that Riverside Hydro I was not eligible for an incentive payment under the hydroelectric production incentives program authorized by Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Riverside Hydro I had filed an application for an incentive payment for the hydroelectricity produced by its Mora Drop Hydroelectric Facility (“the Facility”) in 2016. The EERE denied the incentive payment on the grounds that the Facility’s 10-year incentive period, as defined by a Guidance Document issued by the DOE, had begun to run at the start of fiscal year 2006 and had ended on September 30, 2015. On Appeal, Riverside Hydro I argued that that the DOE had adopted an interpretation of the start of the incentive period that is outside the plain meaning of Section 242. OHA, however, found that the interpretation that the DOE adopted in the Guidance Document was reasonable and within the DOE’s discretion, and that Riverside Hydro I therefore was not eligible for an incentive payment for the hydroelectricity produced by the Facility in calendar year 2016. Accordingly, OHA denied the appeal. OHA Case No. HEA-17-0003