Free Flow Power gets first crack at Ohio River hydro project

On Aug. 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a drawing to determine priority between competing preliminary permit applications for a hydro project on the Ohio River that came in on the same day at exactly the same time.

“In the event that the Commission concludes that neither of the applicants’ plans is better adapted than the other to develop, conserve, and utilize in the public interest the water resources of the region at issue, the priority established by this drawing will serve as the tiebreaker,” FERC said in a brief Aug. 22 notice.

Based on the drawing, the order of priority is:

  1. FFP Project 121 LLC Project No. 14504-000; and
  2. Lock+ Hydro Friends Fund XXX LLC Project No. 13625-003.

The commission received two preliminary permit applications deemed filed on March 1 at 8:30 a.m. for proposed projects to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New Cumberland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, near the town of New Cumberland, Hancock County, W.Va., and Jefferson County, Ohio.

The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. The drawing means that if FFP Project 121 drops its application, Lock+ Hydro Friends can then pursue its own application.

The Lock+ Hydro Friends application is for a successive preliminary permit, meaning it has had one before. Its proposed project would include 17 turbines each having a nameplate capacity of 1.5 MW, with a total installed capacity of 25.5 MW. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 145,850 megawatt-hours.

FFP Project 121’s proposed project would include three new 16.6-MW horizontal bulb turbine-generators having a total combined capacity of 49.8 MW. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 251,600 megawatt-hours. The project company is a unit of Boston-based Free Flow Power, which is pursuing a number of hydro projects around the country.

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.