FERC relicenses six-plant, 28.56-MW Oswegatchie project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has relicensed the six-plant, 28.56-MW Oswegatchie hydroelectric project on New York’s Oswegatchie River.

Erie Boulevard Hydropower, a unit of Brookfield Power, is licensee of Oswegatchie (No. 2713), whose original license expires Dec. 31.

The project’s developments, located along a 90-mile stretch of the Oswegatchie River, include 15-MW Browns Falls, 5.97-MW Flat Rock, 2.92-MW South Edwards, 2.07-MW Oswegatchie, 2.46-MW Eel Weir, and 1.04-MW Heuvelton.

FERC’s Nov. 26 order issued a 40-year license incorporating FERC staff recommendations and mandatory conditions from resource agencies.

Although Erie proposed no new capacity-related construction at the project, it did propose: replacing seasonal flashboards with inflatable rubber dams or year-round flashboards at Browns Falls and South Edwards; installation of trashracks from March-November at Browns Falls, Flat Rock, South Edwards, Heuvelton, and Eel Weir; and construction of new upstream and downstream fish passage at Heuvelton and Eel Weir.

FERC found that the annual cost of operating the project with no changes is $8.27 million or $64.13 per megawatt-hour, which is $11.16/MWh less than the cost of alternative power. As proposed by Erie Boulevard, with staff recommendations and mandatory conditions, the project is expected to cost $9.09 million or $70.96 per MWh annually, which is $4.33/MWh less than the cost of alternative power.

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