FERC authorizes 16 hydropower projects totaling 21.065 MW in 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued 16 hydropower licenses and exemptions in 2013, totaling 21.065 MW. It also received applications in the same period for 21 licenses and exemptions totaling 141.864 MW.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2013, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, included figures for the entire calendar year of 2013, the fourth year for which the agency issued the annual figures.

Of the 16 licenses and exemptions issued, six were conventional licenses totaling 19.06 MW, four were (maximum) 10-MW exemptions totaling 1.033 MW, and six were conduit exemptions totaling 972 kW. That compares to 2012 figures of 12 licenses totaling 89.19 MW, two (maximum) 5-MW exemptions totaling 1.125 MW, and 18 conduit exemptions totaling 13.432 MW. In 2013, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act increased the maximum size for non-conduit exemptions to 10 MW from 5 MW.

There were no licenses or applications for hydrokinetic projects in 2013, compared to four hydrokinetic licenses totaling 2.95 MW issued and two applications totaling 1.1 MW filed in 2012.

FERC approved four capacity amendments to existing licenses totaling 10.575 MW. That compares to 2012 figures of 16 capacity amendments totaling 208.107 MW.

Filings in 2013 seek 21 projects totaling 141.864 MW

Applications were filed in 2013 for 21 licenses and exemptions totaling 141.864 MW. Of those, 16 were for conventional licenses totaling 141.012 MW and five were for conduit exemptions totaling 852 kW. Applications also were filed for one capacity amendment of 170 kW. There were no applications for non-conduit exemptions.

That compares to 2012 applications: 14 for conventional licenses totaling 52.655 MW; three (maximum) 5-MW exemptions totaling 931 kW; 17 conduit exemptions totaling 4.475 MW; and five capacity amendments totaling 18.383 MW.

FERC said the six projects placed in service in 2013 included four licenses totaling 94.738 MW, one (maximum) 10-MW exemption of 850 kW, one conduit exemption of 37 kW and three capacity amendments totaling 5.06 MW. That compares to 2012 in-service figures of: four licenses totaling 17.58 MW; one (maximum) 5-MW exemption of 170 kW; and one conduit exemption of 1 MW.

Hydro comprises 8.44 percent of U.S. generation

Citing figures from Ventyx Global LLC, the FERC update said U.S. electricity installed capacity in 2013 totaled 1,160.08 gigawatts (compared to 1,157.86 GW in 2012). Waterpower totaled 97.88 GW (down from 98.12 GW in 2012), or 8.44 percent of the total (8.47 percent in 2012).

The three larger generating technologies are natural gas at 487.21 GW or 42 percent (491.82 GW, 42.48 percent in 2012); coal at 333.43 GW or 28.57 percent (337.71 GW, 29.17 percent in 2012); and nuclear power at 107.32 GW or 9.25 percent (107.01 GW, 9.24 percent in 2012). The largest non-hydropower renewable technology, wind, had total installed capacity of 60.29 GW, or 5.2 percent of the total (57.53 GW, 4.97 percent in 2012).

FERC reports 6-MW Mahoning Creek placed in service in December

Listing activity for December 2013, the update said the 6-MW Mahoning Creek hydro project (No. 12555) was placed in service in December. The project is located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mahoning Creek Dam in Armstrong County, Pa.

The commission reported no other licenses or exemptions filed or issued in December.

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 December 2013 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2013/dec-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

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