FERC issues environmental report on 6.8-MW Illinois hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 7 released an environmental assessment (EA) on Shelbyville Hydro LLC’s application for an original license for the proposed Lake Shelbyville Dam Hydroelectric Project.

The project would be located on the Kaskaskia River in Shelby County, Ill., at an existing dam operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The proposed project, if licensed, would occupy a total of 3.24 acres of federal land. Any comments on the EA should be filed within 30 days from the date of the June 7 notice.

In October 2011, Shelbyville Hydro filed an application for an original license with FERC for the project. It would have an installed capacity of 6.8 MW and would have an estimated annual generation of 20,300 megawatt-hours (MWh).

The Lake Shelbyville dam was constructed between 1963 and 1970 for the purposes of flood control, recreation, water supply, navigation, and fish and wildlife conservation. The lake inundates the West Okaw and Kaskaskia rivers 17 miles upstream of the dam.

The proposed Lake Shelbyville Project would use existing Lake Shelbyville dam features with new facilities that include: a new 60-foot-long, 50-foot-wide, 68-foot-high concrete powerhouse containing a 6.8-MW Kaplan turbine-generator with a flow of 130 to 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) at a net head of 33 to 77 feet; a new 12.47-kV, 407-foot-long buried transmission line connecting the project to an existing Shelby Electric Cooperative substation located 900 feet downstream of the dam; and a new 4-foot by 6-foot transformer pad located adjacent to the powerhouse.

The project would operate in a run-of-release mode using flows made available by the Corps, with no proposed change to the Corps’ facility operation. Power generation would vary seasonally as flow regimens and pool levels are set forth by the Corps.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.