FERC reports exemptions sought, granted, amendment approved in February

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports in February it granted a hydro license exemption for a conduit project in California and received applications for two others in California and Oregon.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for February, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, also included approval of an amendment increasing capacity of a project in the Carolinas by nearly 7 MW.

FERC approved an application from the Avenal, Calif., Utilities Department for a conduit exemption for the 110-kW California Tank 4 project (No. 14463) in King County, Calif.

It also received an application from Carlsbad Municipal Water District for a conduit exemption from licensing for the 135-kW Pressure Control Facility project (No. 14501) at Maerkle Reservoir in San Diego, Calif.

FERC received another application for conduit exemption in February from Lucid Energy Inc. and the city of Portland Water Bureau. The joint applicants seek approval of the 45-kW Conduit 3 project (No. 14498) in Multnomah County, Ore.

Lucid and the city of Portland agreed in December to begin construction of an in-pipe hydroelectric system, using Lucid’s “LucidPipe” generating units, to be installed in a large-diameter, gravity fed water pipeline. Portland-based Lucid reported in March it received investment from an Israeli investment cooperative.

Duke wins amendment boosting capacity to 739.182 MW at Catawba-Wateree

The commission approved a license amendment increasing the installed capacity of the 732.6-MW Catawba-Wateree hydroelectric project (No. 2232) in South Carolina and North Carolina to 739.182 MW.

Duke Energy Carolinas requested the amendment to reflect a capacity increase due to replacement of turbine runners at the project’s 36-MW Oxford and 26-MW Rhodhiss developments.

Duke said it had planned to install the upgraded runners, as part of the relicensing of Catawba-Wateree, to meet flow release and water quality enhancements in a relicensing agreement. However, the relicensing process has been delayed. In December, the South Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a lower court finding that South Carolina waived its right to issue water quality certification necessary for the relicensing. Duke has requested rehearing.

Duke decided to seek the amendment in order to qualify for production tax credits for incremental generation resulting from the new runners. The licensee said it only recently learned from the equipment manufacturer that the new aerating runners would increase significantly the hydraulic and generating capacity of the two developments.

FERC recently approved a request by Duke for production tax credit certification of incremental generation from replacement of Catawba-Wateree’s 20-MW Bridgewater development with a new 31.5-MW powerhouse

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 February 2013 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2013/feb-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

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