FERC issues two licenses, relicense, including first wave project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its first wave-power project license and a relicense that boosted an existing project by 42 MW during August.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for August 2012, issued by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, showed the commission also issued another license and a conduit exemption during the month.

FERC issued a 35-year license to a unit of Ocean Power Technologies Inc. for the nation’s first commercial-scale wave power project, the 1.5-MW Reedsport OPT Wave Park (No. 12713) off the coast of Reedsport, Ore. The hydrokinetic project consists of 10 PowerBuoy wave energy converters to be installed in a 35-acre area of the Pacific Ocean 2.5 miles off the coast of Douglas County, Ore.

The commission also relicensed the 6-MW Green Island project (No. 13), allowing the project to increase its installed capacity to 48 MW. Green Island Power Authority operates the project at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Green Island-Troy Lock and Dam on the Hudson River in Albany County, N.Y.

FERC also issued an original license in August to Whitman River Dam Inc. for the 145-kW Crocker Dam project (No. 13237) on the existing Crocker Pond Dam on Whitman River in Westminster, Mass. The license was reissued Sept. 5 due to a technicality. Whitman River Dam Inc. originally filed in February 2011 for a (maximum) 5-MW small hydro exemption for Crocker Dam. Because it does not have adequate property rights for an exemption, Whitman revised its application to seek a minor license.

The commission issued two conduit exemptions in August to Silt Water Conservancy District. One is for the 75-kW Harvey Gap 50 project (No. 14342) and the other is for the 875-kW Harvey Gap 400 project (No. 14343) on the district’s irrigation system in Mesa County, Colo.

L.S. Starrett Co. filed an application for a (maximum) 5-MW small hydro exemption for the existing unlicensed 25-kW Crescent Street Dam project (No. 14447) on Millers River near Athol, Mass. The application proposes increasing the project’s installed capacity to 448 kW.

Also in August, Placer County Water Agency filed for a conduit exemption for the 76-kW Lincoln Metering Station project (No. 14444) in Placer County, Calif.

Two previous applicants for conduit exemptions refiled their applications under new project numbers:

FERC also reported Costa County Water District placed in service during August the 1-MW Los Vaqueros Pipeline Energy Recovery project (No. 13524) on the district’s water distribution pipeline in Antioch, Calif.

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

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