FERC issues licenses for two Corps of Engineers lock and dam hydro installations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a pair of original licenses for hydropower projects to be located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer facilities in Fayette County, Pa., and Gallia County, Ohio.

The first license, awarded to Solia 8 Hydroelectric LLC, will allow for the development of a 5 MW project at the Corps’ existing Point Marion Lock and Dam facility. The complex is located on the Monongahela River near Point Marion, Pa., and will occupy 1.44 acres of federal land administered by the Corps.

Solia 8 said the project will modify the Point Marion Dam by removing the fixed-crest weir on its east side to accommodate the construction of a new intake channel and powerhouse. The intake structure will convey flows through a trash rack to a powerhouse that will house two equally sized Kaplan turbines before exiting back into the river. Power generated by the plant will be transferred via a new substation to an existing medium-voltage transmission line.

Point Marion is one of nine locks and dams operated by the Corps on the Monongahela River, and one of 10 located in the Upper Ohio River Basin currently being pursued by Solia 8’s parent company, FFP New Hydro, LLC, for hydroelectric development. Also having received FERC licenses this year are proposals for installations at the Allegheny Lock and Dam 2, Emsworth Back Channel, Montgomery, Monongahela Locks and Dam 4, Grays Landing Lock and Dam.

The Corps is referring to these facilities as “run-of-release” instead of “run-of-river” as their operation would be dependent on flows made available via its own release schedule.

FERC also issued an original license to the City of Wadsworth, Ohio, for the construction and operation of a 50 MW project to be located on the Corps’ Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam.

The facility — previously known as Gallipolis Locks and Dam — straddles the Ohio River on the Ohio/West Virginia state line.

Proposed changes include the excavation of a 1,200-foot-long intake channel that would divert flow into two equally sized intakes of about 60-feet wide. Water would then pass through a powerhouse fitted with matching bulb-type turbine units before exiting a 900-foot-long tailrace.

Power generated by the project would then be transmitted via an existing American Electric Power substation, located near Apple Grove, W.Va.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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