FERC prepares for technical conference on hydrokinetic projects

Representatives from the hydro industry, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, Indian tribes, and the public will comment on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s new licensing process proposed for ocean and other hydrokinetic pilot projects.

FERC released an agenda Aug. 31 for its technical workshop Oct. 2 in Portland, Ore. (HNN 7/20/07) The meeting includes three panels and an open forum facilitated by FERC staff. Commissioner Philip Moeller will lead the meeting. Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff also will participate in the conference, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Bonneville Power Administration’s Auditorium at 911 N.E. 11th Ave., Portland.

Panels are expected to include: Snohomish County Public Utility District; Free Flow Power; Finavera Renewables; Ocean Power Technologies; NOAA Fisheries; the Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service; Washington and Oregon governors offices; Tulalip Tribes; Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition; National Hydropower Association; Lincoln, Ore., County Commission; Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition; and Natural Heritage Institute.

All conference-related materials are to be available on the commission’s calendar for October, on the Internet at www.ferc.gov/eventcalendar/eventslist.aspx. A 30-day written comment period will follow the meeting.

While conference registration is not required, for planning purposes, FERC is encouraging registration on the Internet at www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/hydrokinetic-10-07-form.asp.
Direct questions about the conference to Kristen Murphy, (1) 202-502-6236, E-mail: kristen.murphy@ferc.gov, or Tim Welch, (1) 202-502-8760, E-mail: timothy.welch@ferc.gov.

The proposed process for ocean and other hydrokinetic energy pilot projects could allow developers to complete licensing in as little as six months.

Pilot licenses would be available for proposed projects: 5 MW or less; removable or able to shut down on short notice; outside of waters with sensitive designations; and operated for the purpose of testing new technologies or determining appropriate sites for ocean, wave, and tidal energy projects.

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