FERC license received for 5.25-MW Braddock Locks and Dam hydro project

Hydro Green Energy LLC announced it received its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for the 5.25-MW Braddock Locks and Dam hydroelectric project in Allegheny County, Pa.

Hydro Green President Michael Maley said the company’s technology can change the low-head hydropower industry.

“The Braddock Locks and Dam on the Monongahela River in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is an optimal location to showcase our technology at an existing non-powered dam,” Maley said. “Braddock will provide zero emission, baseload, renewable energy for Pennsylvania.”

Hydro Energy subsidiary Lock+ Hydro Friends Fund XLII LLC filed an application for an original license for the project (No. 13739) in 2012. The project is to be built at the Corps of Engineers’ Braddock Locks and Dam, one of nine Corps navigation structures on the Monongahela. The Corps took bids July 10 to upgrade the gate control system of Braddock Dam.

The 50-year license authorizes installation of seven 750-kW low-head horizontal modular bulb turbine-generators in a large frame on the upstream face of the project’s left weir. The frame is to contain all generating and control systems and can be removed during maintenance or high water.

As proposed by the applicant, the levelized annual cost of operating the project would be $57.96 per MWh, or $21.05/MWh more than the likely cost of alternative power. As licensed with FERC staff mitigation and resource agency mandatory conditions, the annual operating cost would be $58.12/MWh or $21.21/MWh more than the cost of alternative power.

“HGE’s first project was on the upper Mississippi River at a USACE lock and dam,” Maley said. “We are particularly pleased to partner again with the United States Army Corps of Engineers so we can bring clean and reliable power to thousands of electricity customers in Pennsylvania without impacting the Corps’ primary mission of navigation.”

Hydro Green’s Mississippi project was the nation’s first hydrokinetic project, 4.47-MW Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 2 (No. 4306). That project, licensed with Hastings, Minn., was retired in 2012 due to Hydro Green’s change in focus to low-head conventional hydropower.

Hydro Green said it is expediting licensing efforts for eight additional projects at Corps locks and dams in the Northeast, Midwest and South.

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