FERC relicenses 336-MW Cabin Creek Pumped-Storage, issues two more licenses in May

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensed the 336-MW Cabin Creek Pumped-Storage project, issued original licenses for small projects in New York and Idaho, and received applications for two more projects in Alaska and Oregon during May.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for May 2014, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, also included the placing in service of the 205-kW Angelo Dam project (No. 13417). Licensee Western Technical College advised FERC it had started up the project on Wisconsin’s LaCrosse River at an existing dam owned by Monroe County, Wis.

Relicensing increases Cabin Creek from 300 MW

FERC issued a relicense to Public Service Co. of Colorado for the 336-MW Cabin Creek Pumped-Storage project (No. 2351) on Cabin Creek and South Clear Creek in Clear Creek, Colo. The order authorizes the project to increase its installed capacity from 300 MW.

In 2011, Public Service Co. and its parent Xcel Energy were acquitted of violating federal safety regulations in the chemical fire deaths of five contract workers inside a dewatered penstock at Cabin Creek.

New York City wins license for 14.08-MW Cannonsville

FERC issued a license in May to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for the 14.08-MW Cannonsville project (No. 13287), to be built on an existing city water supply dam on the West Branch of the Delaware River in Delaware County, N.Y.

In 2009, FERC issued a preliminary permit to New York for the proposed 29.75-MW West of Hudson project (the original No. 13287), which included the proposed 12.1-MW Cannonsville, 1.65-MW Neversink, 3.1-MW Pepacton, and 12.9-MW Schoharie developments, all on existing water supply reservoirs in Upstate New York. The city, which uses water from the reservoirs, had filed the permit application to compete with one filed earlier by Delaware County Electric Cooperative for the 63-MW Catskills Hydro project (No. 13222), which would have utilized the reservoirs.

In its license application for Cannonsville, the city subsequently sought a stand-alone license for the single development. It also filed a successive preliminary permit application for a new 2.6-MW West of Hudson project (No. 14366) comprising 900-kW Neversink and 1.7-MW Pepacton developments.

In its permit application, New York said it found that Cannonsville could be connected to the transmission system of New State Electric & Gas Corp. However, Neversink and Pepacton would have to be connected to NYSEG’s nearby distribution system. New York said NYSEG found Neversink would exceed NYSEG’s distribution circuits’ capacity, while Pepacton would exceed NYSEG’s operating criteria.

Because of delays in determining the scope of necessary distribution system upgrades, New York decided to proceed with Cannonsville separately. The city also said it has not identified a feasible design for a hydro plant at the Schoharie development and, therefore, deleted it from the application.

Small Idaho project licensed

The commission also issued a license to Don W. Gilbert Hydropower LLC for the proposed 90-kW Gilbert hydroelectric project (No. 14367) to be built on a tributary of the Bear River near Grace, Idaho.

Applications received for Alaska, Oregon projects

FERC also received in May an application from Juneau Hydropower Inc. to license the proposed 19.8-MW Sweetheart Lake project (No. 13563) The project would be located on Sweetheart Lake and Sweetheart Creek in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska.

Go with the Flow Hydro Power LLC filed an application in May for a maximum 10-MW exemption from licensing for the proposed 1.2-MW Go with the Flow hydroelectric project (No. 14538). The project would be built on the Umatilla River in Umatilla County, Ore.

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 May 2014 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2014/may-infrastructure.pdf.

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