On February 10, 2010, the Oregon House passed HB 3680, which if enacted would substantially curtail the BETC for certain renewable energy projects. HB 3680 would impose an overall statewide cap, on the amount of potential tax credits that the Department of Energy could certify. The statewide cap would be $300 million for the 2009-11 biennium, and $150 million for the year beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2012. HB 3680 would also authorize the Department of Energy to write rules relating to the priority to be given if applications for preliminary certification exceed those caps. In addition to the overall cap discussed above, HB 3680 would also impose the following cutbacks for large wind facilities (more than 10 megawatts):

  • For facilities that obtain preliminary certification between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011, the BETC would be limited to $3.5 million
  • For facilities that obtain preliminary certification between January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012, the BETC would be limited to $2.5 million
  • For facilities that obtain preliminary certification after January 1, 2012, the BETC would be limited to $1.5 million

HB 3680 would adopt several criteria implemented by the Department of Energy in the Temporary Rules adopted in November 2009, and would modify the definition of a “transportation facility” to include efficient truck technology for commercial motor vehicles. These provisions would apply retroactively to July 1, 2009. HB 3680 would also allow the Department of Energy to suspend or revoke a final certificate if a facility is no longer operating. This provision would apply retroactively to January 1, 2009. Finally, HB 3680 would extend the sunset date to January 1, 2014, for renewable energy resource equipment manufacturing facilities, but would not extend the sunset date for other facilities.