FERC relicense for 176.2-MW Osage authorizes turbine upgrades

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 40-year relicense for the 176.2-MW Osage project in Missouri, authorizing licensee Union Electric Co. to upgrade four turbines.

FERC issued the order March 30 to Union Electric Co., doing business as AmerenUE. It said relicensing of Osage (No. 459) assures operation of a reliable power source in the region while minimizing downstream erosion and protecting water quality, fisheries, wetlands, recreation, and historical resources.

The relicense provides for: the upgrades to generating units; a fish protection plan; improvements to recreational facilities; development and implementation of a shoreline management plan; development of an operations and flow monitoring plan; monitoring of downstream shoreline erosion; and continued monitoring of lake level, inflow, and project discharge.

Consistent with a FERC-approved settlement between the utility and several agencies, AmerenUE proposes to upgrade two main turbines and two auxiliary turbines. The powerhouse, at Bagnell Dam, is equipped with eight main turbine-generators, two of which already have been upgraded, and two auxiliary turbine-generators.

AmerenUE must file a turbine upgrade schedule within four months for commission approval. The upgrades would increase the project’s maximum hydraulic capacity by 1,580 cubic feet per second, resulting in a 6.5 percent increase in annual generation of about 41,600 MWh. While the settlement had anticipated AmerenUE would add 15 MW of capacity, FERC said the upgrades would not change the authorized installed capacity.

FERC noted a shoreline management plan is important to manage the multiple resources and uses of the Lake of the Ozarks’ 1,150 miles of shoreline within project boundaries, while protecting environment and recreation, and addressing public needs.

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