FERC takes comment on three Louisiana hydro projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 28 released a combined environmental assessment on three new hydroelectric projects that related companies want to build in Louisiana.

In March 2011, BOST5 Hydroelectric LLC applied for an original license to construct, operate, and maintain the Red River Lock and Dam No. 5 Hydroelectric Project No. 12758-004 (Lock and Dam No. 5 Project). The proposed project would be located on the Red River at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Red River Lock and Dam No. 5, which is located in Bossier Parish, La. The project would involve constructing a headrace, powerhouse, tailrace, and transmission line. The project would have an installed capacity of 28.1 MW, would utilize flows released by the Corps, and would have an average annual generation of 129,400 megawatt-hours (MWh).

In February 2011, BOST4 Hydroelectric LLC filed an application for an original license to construct, operate, and maintain the Red River Lock and Dam No. 4 Hydroelectric Project No. 12757-004 (Lock and Dam No. 4 Project). The project would be located on the Red River at the existing Corps’ Red River Lock and Dam No. 4, which is located in Red River Parish, La. It would involve constructing a headrace, powerhouse, tailrace, and transmission line. The project would have an installed capacity of 28.1 MW, would utilize flows released by the Corps, and would have average annual generation of 128,532 MWh.

In July 2010, BOST3 Hydroelectric LLC applied for an original license to construct, operate, and maintain the Red River Lock and Dam No. 3 Hydroelectric Project No. 12756-003 (Lock and Dam No. 3 Project). The 36.2-MW project would be located on the Red River at the existing Corps’ Red River Lock and Dam No. 3, located in Natchitoches Parish, La. The proposed project would involve constructing a headrace, powerhouse, tailrace, and transmission line. It would utilize flows released by the Corps, and would have an average annual generation of 172,779 MWh.

The proposed projects would be located at three of the five Corps’ existing locks and dams that comprise the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, which was authorized by Congress.

FERC documents show the representative for the three project companies is Nelson Energy LLC out of Minnesota. Said the Nelson Energy website: “In 2007, Nelson Energy began development of the hydroelectric potential at three existing Corps of Engineers’ dams in Louisiana. This total 92 MW of new capacity has an estimated cost of over $400 million. License applications for the three projects have been submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and all licensing and environmental studies have been completed. The three projects are located within an 84 mile long reach of the Red River and their similarities in configuration will provide significant economies of scale in both construction and operation.”

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.