FERC issues 27 licenses, exemptions in 2010, totaling 40.76 MW

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released an Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2010 that includes its hydropower activities for the month and for the year to date.

Previously used as an in-house tool, the monthly update is to be made public in future, allowing the public to track the activities of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects in the areas of hydropower, natural gas, electric generation, and electric transmission.

FERC issued 27 hydro licenses and exemptions in 2010, totaling 40.76 MW, all for conventional hydropower projects. Of that total, six were licenses totaling 15.297 MW, seven were (maximum) 5-MW exemptions totaling 2.117 MW, and 14 were conduit exemptions totaling 23.347 MW.

FERC approved the largest increase in hydropower capacity for the year in the form of capacity amendments to existing projects. The commission issued 12 capacity amendments totaling 110.234 MW.

Applications were filed in 2010 for 30 licenses and exemptions totaling 89.142 MW. Of those, nine were for licenses for conventional hydro totaling 76.905 MW, two were for hydrokinetic licenses totaling 2.5 MW, three were for conventional 5-MW exemptions totaling 1.165 MW, one was for a hydrokinetic 5-MW exemption of 50 watts, and 15 were for conventional conduit exemptions totaling 8.572 MW. Applications also were filed for 17 capacity amendments totaling 166.438 MW.

The seven conventional projects placed in service in 2010 included three licenses totaling 15.540 MW, two 5-MW exemptions totaling 270 kW, and two conduit exemptions totaling 763 kW. There was one capacity amendment placed in service during the year of 600 kW.

Hydro comprises 8.75 percent of U.S. generation

Citing figures from Ventyx Global LLC, the FERC update said U.S. electricity installed capacity totals 1,132.68 gigawatts. Waterpower totals 99.1 GW, or 8.75 percent of the total. The three larger generating technologies are natural gas at 462.12 GW, or 40.8 percent; coal at 343.97 GW, or 30.37 percent; and nuclear power at 108.31 GW, or 9.56 percent.

Among its highlights for December, the update said FERC issued (maximum) 5-MW exemptions for the 360-kW Slatersville project (No. 11356) in Rhode Island and the 310-kW Humphreys project (No. 13871) in Colorado. It also issued five conduit exemptions totaling 6.036 MW and two capacity amendments totaling 49.367 MW.

Also in December, Fairlawn Hydroelectric Co. LLC filed an application to license the 14-MW Jennings Randolph project (No. 12715) in Maryland and West Virginia, and Verdant Power LLC filed a final pilot hydrokinetic license application for the 1-MW Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project (No. 12611) in New York. Applications were filed for one conduit exemption of 1.3 MW and one capacity amendment of 20 MW.

The Office of Energy Projects’ Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2010 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/01-19-11-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

For more FERC news, click here.

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