FERC approves four projects totaling 7.2 MW; receives tidal filing

WASHINGTON 4/30/12 (PennWell) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued two licenses and two exemptions from licensing totaling 7.199 MW and received an application for a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a tidal power project in Washington during March.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for March 2012, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, showed the agency also received applications for two conduit exemptions and two small hydro (maximum 5 MW) exemptions from licensing.

FERC issued an original license to Jordan Hydroelectric L.P. for the 3.7-MW Gathright project (No. 12737) to be built on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gathright Dam on the Jackson River near Falling Springs, Va. Jordan received another FERC license in January for the 3-MW Flannagan project (No. 12740), proposed for another Corps dam in Virginia.

Blue Heron LLC received a license in March for the 924-kW Townshend Dam project (No. 13368) to be built at the Corps’ Townshend Dam on the West River at Townshend, Vt.

FERC also issued a small hydro exemption to Putnam Green Power LLC for 875-kW Cargill Falls (No. 13080) to be built on the Quinebaug River in Putnam, Conn. Putnam Green Power received a $275,000 grant for Cargill Falls in 2011 from the Department of Agriculture under the Rural Energy for America Program.

PacifiCorp also received a conduit exemption for the 1.7-MW Granite project (No. 14293) to be built in Salt Lake County, Utah.

Utility seeks hydrokinetic pilot license for 1-MW Admiralty Inlet

Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 filed an application in March for a hydrokinetic pilot license for the 1-MW Admiralty Inlet Pilot Tidal project (No. 12690) to be installed in Washington’s Puget Sound in Kitsap County, Wash.

The Department of Energy awarded $10 million to the $20 million Admiralty Inlet project in 2010. Snohomish plans to deploy, operate, monitor, and evaluate two 10-meter-diameter Open-Centre Turbines, developed and manufactured by OpenHydro Group Ltd.

FERC previously issued hydrokinetic pilot project licenses in February for the 300-kW Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy project (No. 12711) in Maine, and in January for the 1.05-MW Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project (No. 12611) in New York.

FERC receives four applications for exemptions

FERC received applications in March for exemptions from:
o Don W. Gilbert Hydropower LLC, small hydro, 75-kW Gilbert (No. 14367) to be built on a tributary of the Bear River near Grace, Idaho;
o Catamount Metropolitan District, small hydro, 695-kW Catamount (No. 14368) to be built on the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs, Colo.;
o City of Hillsboro, Ore., conduit, 94-kW Will Crandall Reservoir (No. 14371) to be built on the city municipal water system;
o Grand Valley Irrigation District, conduit, 185-kW Dividers (No. 14377) to be built on the Grand Valley irrigation system in Mesa County, Colo.

FERC OKs capacity increase to 1,119 MW at Northfield Mountain

FERC approved an application in March from FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. to amend the license of the 1,080-MW Northfield Mountain Pumped-Storage project (No. 2485), increasing project capacity to 1,119.2 MW.

In March, FERC also certified incremental generation at Northfield Mountain, on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts, due to replacement of turbine runners with higher efficiency runners in Units 2 and 3.

The license amendment reflects increased capacity resulting from improvements to pump-turbine Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 or testing that showed the units could produce additional power if operated at higher temperatures.

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 March 2012 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/mar-2012-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

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