FERC approves five projects totaling 22.7 MW in April

WASHINGTON 6/11/12 (PennWell) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued two licenses and three exemptions from licensing totaling 22.656 MW and received an application for an instream hydrokinetic pilot project license in April.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for April 2012, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, showed the agency also approved amendments for two projects, increasing their capacities a total of 7.35 MW.

Licenses: 14-MW Jennings Randolph, 2.196-MW Ball Mountain

FERC issued an original license to Fairlawn Hydroelectric Co. LLC for the 14-MW Jennings Randolph project (No. 12715) in Maryland and West Virginia. The project is located on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jennings Randolph Dam on the North Branch of the Potomac River.

The commission also issued an original license in April to Blue Heron LLC for the 2.196-MW Ball Mountain project (No. 13226) to be built at the Corps’ Ball Mountain Dam on the West River near Jamaica, Vt. Blue Heron LLC received a license in March for another project on the West River, 924-kW Townshend Dam (No. 13368). 

Exemptions: 5.3-MW Puu Lua, 700-kW Three Sisters, 460-kW Eightmile

FERC granted conduit exemptions to applicants for three projects in April: 
Konohiki Hydropower LLC, a subsidiary of Pacific Light & Power Inc., for the 5.3-MW Puu Lua project (No. 14069) in Kauai County, Hawaii. It dismissed a competing permit application by Clean River Power LLC (No. 13875); 
Three Sisters Irrigation District for the 700-kW Three Sisters Irrigation project (No. 14364) on Three Sisters Irrigation District Main Canal at Whychus Creek in Deschutes County, Ore.;
Jordan Whittaker of Leadore, Idaho, for 460-kW Eightmile (No. 14259) on the applicant’s irrigation pipeline in Lemhi County, Idaho.

Amendments: 32.6-MW Stewarts Bridge, 21.6-MW Skelton, 2,755-MW Niagara

The commission approved a license amendment to Erie Boulevard Hydropower L.P. for the 30-MW Stewarts Bridge hydroelectric project (No. 2047) on the Sacandaga River in New York. FERC OK’d the addition of a 2.6-MW unit in a new powerhouse, increasing the project’s total installed capacity to 32.6 MW.

NextEra FPL Energy Maine LLC won approval of an amendment allowing upgrade of generating units of the 16.8-MW Skelton project (No. 2527) on the Saco River in York County, Maine. The work is to increase capacity by 4.75 MW to a total 21.55 MW.

Although it does not increase the project’s total installed capacity, FERC approved a license amendment allowing New York Power Authority to rehabilitate 12 20-MW pump-turbines at the 240-MW Lewiston pumped-storage plant in New York.

The upgrade at Lewiston, part of the 2,755-MW Niagara project (No. 2216), will increase the turbines’ total capacity to 270 MW from 252 MW. However, the plant’s total installed capacity is limited by its generators’ size, which remains at a total of 240 MW. NYPA awarded a contract in April to Ferguson Electric of Buffalo, N.Y., to assist in the Lewiston modernization program.

Applications: 100-kW Whitestone Poncelet, 60-kW P Coulee

Also in April, FERC received an application from Alaska developer Whitestone Power and Communications for a pilot hydrokinetic project license for the 100-kW Whitestone Poncelet RISEC project on the Delta and Tanana rivers in Alaska. Whitestone plans to develop commercially a single pontoon-mounted undershot Poncelet waterwheel with a maximum capacity of 100 kW to generate power from the river current.

The commission also received application for a conduit exemption from Coulee Power Plant LLC for the 60-kW P Coulee project (No. 14384) to be built on the Twin Falls Canal Co. irrigation system in Twin Falls County, Idaho.

In other action, FERC was notified in April that the city of Black River Falls, Wis., achieved operation of all three generators at the new 1.33-MW Black River Falls project (No. 3052) on Wisconsin’s Black River.

FERC, which previously used the infrastructure update as an in-house tool, began making the monthly update public beginning with December 2010. The report allows the public to track the activities of the Office of Energy Projects in the areas of hydropower, natural gas, electric generation, and electric transmission.

The Office of Energy Projects’ Energy Infrastructure Update for April 2012 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/apr-2012-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

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