FERC plans Oct. 2 workshop on impacts of hydropower bill

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will hold a workshop on Oct. 2 at the commission offices about a hydroelectric power bill recently passed by Congress.

“The purpose of the workshop is to begin investigating the feasibility of a two-year process for the issuance of a license for hydropower development at non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped storage projects in compliance with section 6 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013,” said an Sept. 3 FERC notice. “Participants should be prepared to discuss whether such a process is feasible, present ideas on the details of a two-year licensing process, discuss potential criteria for identifying projects that may be appropriate for a two-year licensing process, and recommend potential pilot projects to test a two-year licensing process.”

Those who wish to file written comments may do so by Nov. 1.

On Aug. 9, President Obama signed into law the “Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.” Among other things, that legislation:

  • exempts certain conduit hydropower facilities from the licensing requirements of the Federal Power Act (FPA);
  • amends Section 405 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to define “small hydroelectric power projects” as having an installed capacity that does not exceed 10,000 kilowatts;
  • authorizes the commission to extend the term of preliminary permits once for not more than two additional years beyond the three years previously allowed under Section 5 of the FPA; and 
  • directs the commission to investigate the feasibility of a two-year licensing process for hydropower development at non-powered dams and closed-loop pump storage projects.
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.