FERC licenses FFP New Hydro’s US$80 million hydroelectric project at Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi

On Jan. 20, FFP New Hydro LLC, a subsidiary of US Renewables Group, announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the company licensure for four projects at existing flood control facilities owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) located in Mississippi’s Yazoo River Basin.

The facilities are expected to provide enough power for more than 15,000 homes and include the following projects: 5.1-MW Arkabutla, 4.6-MW Enid, 14.6-MW Sardis and 9-MW Grenada.

Construction of the projects is expected to begin in 2017 and “commence operations in 2018,” according to FFP New Hydro.

“The development of the Yazoo River Basin hydropower projects will represent an investment of more than US$80 million in the state of Mississippi, creating hundreds of jobs during construction, operations and maintenance,” said Ramya Swaminathan, chief executive officer of FFP New Hydro.

Arkabutla
The proposed project would consist of the following new facilities:

• A 325-foot-long by 15.5-foot-diameter steel liner installed within the existing concrete conduit outlet tunnel;
• A 50-foot-long by 25-foot-wide steel-lined reinforced concrete bifurcation at the end of the existing conduit outlet tunnel to divide the flows between the existing stilling basin and the project’s new powerhouse;
• A 272-foot-long by 12-foot-diameter steel penstock;
• An 83-foot high by 60-foot wide by 50-foot-deep forebay;
• An 80-foot-long by 46-foot-wide concrete powerhouse that has two vertical Kaplan generating units with a total installed capacity of 5.1 MW;
• A 200-foot-long by 85-foot-wide tailrace channel;
• A substation; and
• A 4,286-foot-long transmission line consisting of a 1,574-foot-long, 4.16 kV buried line from the powerhouse to the substation and a 2,712-foot-long, 12.5 kV overhead line from the substation to an existing utility-owned distribution line and appurtenant facilities.

The project is expected to have an estimated average annual generation of 19 GWh.

Enid
The proposed Enid project would be located at the USACE Enid Lake Dam, on the Yocona River, near Oakland, Miss., occupying about 30 acres.

The project would utilize the following existing facilities:

• An 8,400-foot-long by 85-foot-high earth fill embankment dam;
• A reservoir; and
• Outlet works consisting of a concrete intake tower, two gated inlets that combine to direct flow through two 370-foot-long by 11-foot-diameter concrete outlet conduits and a stilling basin.

New facilities include:

• A 320-foot-long by 10.25-foot-diameter steel liner installed within one of the two existing outlet conduits;
• A 50-foot-long by 20-foot-wide (varies) steel-lined, concrete bifurcation chamber containing two hydraulically-operated gates used to control the amount of flow diverted from the existing stilling basin to the powerhouse;
• A 240-foot-long by 10-foot-diameter steel penstock;
• A 55-foot wide by 50-foot-long by 100-foot-high steel and reinforced concrete forebay that will house trashracks and a fish bypass gate;
• An 80-foot-long by 50-foot-wide concrete powerhouse containing two vertical Kaplan turbine-generator units that have a combined installed capacity of 4.6 MW;
• A 150-foot-long by 75-foot-wide tailrace;
• A 181-foot-long, 4.16-kilovolt (kV) buried cable;
• A substation; and
• A 2,036-foot-long, 12.5-kV overhead transmission line extending from the substation to a utility-owned distribution line.

The average annual generation would be 1.77 GWh.

Sardis
The proposed Sardis Lake Project will consist of the following new facilities:

• A 510-foot-long by 15.5-foot-diameter steel liner installed within the existing outlet conduit;
• A 50-foot-long by 30-foot-wide (varies) steel-lined, concrete bifurcation chamber containing two hydraulically-operated gates used to control the amount of flow diverted from the existing stilling basin to the powerhouse;
• A 250-foot-long by 15.5-foot-diameter steel penstock;
• A 78-foot-wide by 50-foot-long by 102.6-foot-high steel and reinforced concrete forebay housing trashracks and a fish bypass gate;
• A 120-foot-long by 85-foot-wide concrete powerhouse containing two vertical Kaplan turbine-generator units that have a combined installed capacity of 14.6 MW;
• A 200-foot-long by 100-foot-wide tailrace;
• An 887-foot-long, 4.16 kV buried cable;
• A substation; and
• A 6,210-foot-long, 161 kV overhead transmission line extending from the substation to a utility-owned distribution line.

The average annual generation is expected to be 5.2 GWh.

Grenada
The proposed Grenada Lake Project will consist of the following new facilities:

• A 327.5-foot-long by 16-foot-diameter steel liner installed within the existing outlet conduit;
• A 50-foot-long, variable width steel-lined, concrete bifurcation chamber containing two hydraulically-operated gates used to control the amount of flow diverted from the existing stilling basin to the powerhouse;
• A 260-foot-long by14-foot-diameter steel penstock;
• A 78-foot-wide by 50-foot-long by 86-foot-high steel and reinforced concrete forebay that will house trashracks and a fish bypass outlet gate;
• A 120-foot-long by 60-foot-wide concrete powerhouse containing two vertical Kaplan turbine-generator units that have a combined installed capacity of 9 MW;
• A 150-foot-long by 70-foot-wide tailrace;
• A 670-foot-long, 4.16 kV buried cable;
• A substation; and
• A 1,980-foot-long, 12.5 kV overhead transmission line extending from the substation to a utility-owned distribution line.

The average annual generation is expected to be 3.1 GWh.

Process
FERC put each of the projects through an extensive study process and the licenses represent the culmination of more than four years of significant investment and effort, according to FFP New Hydro.

FFP New Hydro LLC has a portfolio of 23 hydropower projects being developed on existing dams in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Indiana and Louisiana that total more than 260 MW. These projects are low impact, run-of-river hydropower developments that when constructed will provide long-term clean, renewable power in their host communities.
 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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