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DOE, IRS Give $1 Billion in Tax Credits for Clean Coal

The U.S. Department of Energy and the IRS awarded $1 billion in federal tax incentives to nine companies to bring about rapid deployment of advanced coal-based power generation and gasification technologies.

Among the winners, $90 million in tax credits was given to British Petroleum to offset the costs of its planned clean-burning hydrogen-fueled power plant in Carson, The Press Telegram reports.

BP’s $1 billion plant would be the first of its kind in the country, using petroleum coke – a petroleum refining by-product – to produce hydrogen power.

When it opens in 2011, the plant is expected to provide enough energy to power 325,000 Southern California homes, according to the company.

“There is more energy available in U.S. coal than in nearly all of the oil in the world, and these tax credits will help us find ways to use coal in an environmentally sensitive way,”  Secretary Bodman said   “The combination of government incentives and private sector innovation will harness America’s technological strength to ensure clean, secure, affordable, and reliable energy.”

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) authorized the Department of Treasury to provide tax credits as incentives to move advanced technologies to the marketplace.  EPAct focuses on clean energy, efficient energy use, energy conservation, and advanced technologies.

The coal technologies fall under two different tax credit programs: One for Qualifying Advanced Coal Projects and another for Qualifying Gasification Projects.  Congressional authorizations included a total of $1.65 billion in tax credits to spur investment in the advanced clean coal facilities, including $350 million in tax credits for advanced gasification projects.

Initially, a total of 49 applications were received. 

The first round of tax incentive winners, who chose to have their selection acknowledged publicly, are:

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