More CREBs

More CREBs

February 18, 2015 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

MORE CREBS may be issued.

CREBs are a form of tax-exempt bond on which the lenders receive tax credits from the federal government in place of interest. The tax credits must be reported as income. The acronym stands for “clean renewable energy bond.”

The bonds can be used to finance wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydroelectric and ocean energy projects that are owned by municipal utilities, government agencies, Indian tribes, electric cooperatives and US possessions. Anyone proposing to issue CREBs must apply to the IRS for an allocation. Congress authorized up to $2.4 billion in such bonds.

The IRS announced in early February that it will allocate approximately $1.4 billion in remaining bond authority. Anyone given an allocation must issue the bonds within three years or else the authority reverts to the IRS and will be re-awarded to someone else.

Public power providers (municipal utilities) must apply by June 3, 2015 and will share up to $516,565,691.35 in remaining bond authority. The bond authority for public power providers will be allocated using a pro rata method. If the total amount applied for exceeds the amount available, then the volume cap will be split pro rata among all the eligible projects. Thus, for example, if the $516 million is two times oversubscribed, then each public power provider will receive authority to issue bonds covering half its project cost.

Governmental bodies and electric cooperatives must apply by March 5, 2015. There is $597,134,963.60 in volume cap remaining for governmental bodies and $280,778,469 for electric cooperatives. Volume cap for these two categories will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. However, no applicant may be awarded more than $40 million or, if greater, 20% of the total amount available for award in its category (governmental bodies or electric cooperatives).

Keith Martin in Washington