The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has filed a notice of termination of license by implied surrender for the 1.68-MW Herkimer Hydroelectric Project, licensed to ECOsponsible LLC.
Herkimer is located on the West Canada Creek in Herkimer County, N.Y. The project works include:
- Timber crib dam with a 9-foot-high, 95-foot-long section reaching a crest elevation of 420 feet mean sea level (msl) and 12-foot-high, 145-foot-long section reaching a crest elevation of 419.2 feet msl;
- Reservoir with a surface area of 19 acres, storage capacity of 163 acre-feet, and normal water surface elevation of 420.5 feet msl;
- Timber flashboards;
- Intake structure;
- Reinforced concrete and steel powerhouse containing four generating units with a capacity of 400 kW each and an 80-kW minimum flow generator at the base of the dam for a total installed capacity of 1,680 kW;
- 50-foot-long, 13.2-kV transmission line.
The project has fallen into disrepair and has not been operated since 2006, FERC said. The project was transferred to the licensee in March 2015, and that order required ECOsponsible to file a plan and schedule to restore project operation within 60 days. FERC’s Division of Dam Safety and Inspections New York Regional Office (NYRO) issued eight letters requiring the licensee to file a plan and schedule to make the needed repairs and restore project operation. The licensee has responded over the years with at least five plans, but all lacked sufficient detail for NYRO’s review and approval. In August 2021, NYRO inspected the project and found it in unsatisfactory condition and largely abandoned. The licensee did not attend the inspection and has failed to respond to phone calls and emails since. In a final letter dated Oct. 18, 2021, NYRO again required the licensee to reply to past letters but the licensee has stopped responding to the Commission.
Per FERC, License Article 26 states in part: “If the licensee shall abandon or discontinue good faith operation of the project or refuse or neglect to comply with the terms of the license and the lawful orders of the Commission mailed to the record address of the licensee or its agent, the Commission will deem it to be the intent of the licensee to surrender the license.”