FERC warns Free Flow about possible loss of 3,392 MW of hydro permits

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent an Aug. 22 letter to Free Flow Power warning that preliminary permits granted last year for six pumped storage hydro projects are in danger of being terminated due to late six-month progress reports on those projects.

Under a preliminary permit, which is good for 36 months, progress reports need to be filed with FERC every six months. If a preliminary permit is terminated, that opens up the project to competition from outside parties.

FERC said the third progress reports for each project, due Aug. 1, have not been filed. This letter constitutes notice under section 5 of the Federal Power Act of the probable cancellation of these preliminary permits no less than 30 days from the date of this letter. All six permits were issued in February 2012, with the missing reports the third to be filed for each. In each case, Free Flow Power is acting on behalf of affiliate Reliable Storage 1 LLC.

The projects are:

  • The Keaton Creek Pumped Storage Project No. 14120 to be located near the town of Sneedville, on Keaton Creek, in Hancock County, Tenn. The proposed project would include a powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 309 MW; and a 5.62-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The estimated annual generation of the Keaton Creek Project is 322 gigawatt-hours.
  • The Leech Mountain Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14122, to be located near the town of Tazewell, in Claiborne County, Tenn. The proposed project would include a powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 390 MW; and a 4.15-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the TVA. The estimated annual generation of the Leech Mountain Project is 590 gigawatt-hours.
  • The Ravenscroft Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14151, to be located on Doe Creek, near the town of Ravenscroft in White and Putnam counties, Tenn. The proposed project would include an underground powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 600 MW; and a 12.8-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the TVA. The estimated annual generation of this project is 1,000 gigawatt-hours.
  • The Horseshoe Mountain Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14124, to be located near the town of Tazewell, in Claiborne County, Tenn. It would include a powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 331 MW; and a 2.86-mile-long, 115-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the TVA. The estimated annual generation of the Horseshoe Mountain Project is 517 gigawatt-hours.
  • The proposed Cross Mountain Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14125, to be located near the town of Lake City, in Campbell County, Tenn. The project would include a powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 1,062 MW; and a 2.66-mile-long, 115-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the TVA. The estimated annual generation of this project is 2,761 gigawatt-hours.
  • The Bon Air Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14150, to be located on Wildcat Creek, near the town of Sparta in White County, Tenn. It would include an underground powerhouse/pumping station containing three pump/generating units, with a total generating capacity of 700 MW; and a 16-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line to an existing distribution line owned by the TVA. The estimated annual generation of the Bon Air Project is 1,100 gigawatt-hours.
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.