FERC calls off drawing for permit on Mississippi River hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which had planned an Oct. 21 drawing for the winner of competing preliminary permit applications for a Mississippi River hydro project, said Oct. 17 that the drawing has been cancelled.

The preliminary permit drawing was to determine the filing priority between Lock+ Hydro Friends Fund III LLC and the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, which has filed competing applications for differing projects at the same site. The commission said it will accept comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), and notices of intent to file competing applications through Nov. 12.

On July 23, both companies filed at the same time preliminary permit applications to study the feasibility of a hydropower project at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Melvin Price Lock and Dam. This dam is located on the Mississippi River near the city of Alton, Ill., in Madison County, Ill., and St. Charles County, Mo.

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.

Western Minnesota’s proposed Melvin Price Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would include: arrays of micro-turbines; a 150-foot by 150-foot substation located next to the dam on the Missouri side of the river that would step-up the project voltage from 13.8 kV to 138 kV; and a 138-kV, 1.07-miles-long transmission line connecting the project substation to an existing substation on the Illinois side of the river. Depending on certain design decisions, the project would have a rated capacity of 93 MW, or 149.4 MW.

Hydro Friends’ competing Melvin Price Locks and Dam Hydroelectric Project would include: a powerhouse and containing 50 turbines each with a nameplate capacity of 1.5 MW for a total system capacity of 75 MW; and a 69 kV or 115 kV, 4.8-miles-long transmission line connecting the project power to an existing substation.

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.