FERC authorizes 19 hydropower projects totaling 1,936.744 MW in 2014

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued 19 hydropower licenses and exemptions in 2014, totaling 1,936.744 MW. It also received applications in the same period for 18 licenses and exemptions totaling 261 MW.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2014, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, included figures for the entire calendar year of 2014, the fifth year for which the agency issued the annual figures.

Of the 19 licenses and exemptions issued, 12 were conventional licenses totaling 150.444 MW, three were pumped-storage projects totaling 1,736 MW, one was a hydrokinetic license of 600 kW, and three were conduit exemptions totaling 49.7 MW. That compares to 2013 figures of six conventional licenses totaling 19.06 MW, four (maximum) 10-MW exemptions totaling 1.033 MW, and six conduit exemptions totaling 972 kW.

FERC approved two capacity amendments to existing licenses totaling 5.185 MW. That compares to 2013 figures of four capacity amendments totaling 10.575 MW.

Filings in 2014 seek 18 projects totaling 261 MW

Applications were filed in 2014 for 18 licenses and exemptions totaling 261 MW. Of those, 14 were for conventional licenses totaling 209.8 MW, two were for (maximum) 10-MW exemptions totaling 1.8 MW, and two were for conduit exemptions totaling 49.4 MW. There were no applications for capacity amendments.

That compares to 2013 applications: 16 for conventional licenses totaling 141.012 MW; five conduit exemptions totaling 852 kW; and one capacity amendment of 170 kW.

FERC said the four projects placed in service in 2014 included three licenses totaling 11.805 MW and one (maximum) 10-MW exemption of 700 kW. One capacity amendment of 17 MW was placed in service. That compares to 2013 in-service figures of: 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.

Hydro comprises 8.42 percent of U.S. generation

Citing figures from Ventyx Global LLC, the FERC update said U.S. electricity installed capacity in 2014 totaled 1,168.76 gigawatts (compared to 1,160.08 GW in 2013). Waterpower totaled 98.39 GW (up from 97.88 GW in 2013), or 8.42 percent of the total (8.44 percent in 2013).

The three larger generating technologies are natural gas at 492.97 GW or 42.18 percent (487.21 GW, 42 percent in 2013); coal at 326.60 GW or 27.94 percent (333.43 GW, 28.57 percent in 2013); and nuclear power at 106.87 GW or 9.14 percent (107.32 GW, 9.25 percent in 2013). The largest non-hydropower renewable technology, wind, had total installed capacity of 64.77 GW, or 5.54 percent of the total (60.29 GW, 5.2 percent in 2013).

FERC reported no hydropower activity for the month of 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 2014 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2014/dec-infrastructure.pdf.

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