FERC assessments back licensing 6-MW Calligan Creek, 2.2-MW Pepperell hydro projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued environmental assessments endorsing the licensing of the 6-MW Calligan Creek hydroelectric project in Washington and the 2.207-MW Pepperell hydro project in Massachusetts.

6-MW Calligan Creek

Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 filed a hydropower license application in August 2013 for the Calligan Creek project (No. 13948) on Calligan Creek near North Bend in King County, Wash. Calligan Creek had been licensed in the early 1990s, but the license was pulled in 2004 due to lack of activity.

The project would include a diversion structure, 1-acre impoundment, a powerhouse with 6-MW Pelton turbine-generator and a 2.5-mile buried transmission line. It would generate about 20,700 MWh annually.

The FERC draft environmental assessment recommends licensing the project as proposed by Snohomish PUD with some FERC staff modifications and additional measures. As proposed by Snohomish, project power would cost $106.64 per MWh, more than the cost of alternative power. With FERC staff modifications, project power would cost $101.27/MWh, still more than alternative power.

2.207-MW Pepperell

Pepperell Hydro Co. LLC applied in October 2013 for an original license for an existing unlicensed hydropower project, the 1.92-MW Pepperell project on the Nashua River in East Pepperell, Mass.

The application (No. 12721) proposes to increase the capacity of two existing turbine-generators and to install a new minimum flow unit to increase total installed capacity to 2.207 MW. Pepperell reported it already increased the capacity of the two existing units. The project also includes a 23.5-foot-tall, 251-foot-long concrete dam. The expanded project is to generate about 7,813 MWh annually.

Pepperell Hydro proposes to operate the project under terms of a settlement agreement with state and federal resource agencies. The FERC final environmental assessment recommends licensing the project as proposed by Pepperell with some FERC staff modifications and additional measures. As proposed by Pepperell, project power would cost $11.46 per MWh more than the cost of alternative power. With FERC staff modifications and resource agency mandatory conditions, project power would cost $11.52/MWh more than alternative power.

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