FERC, California water board work out hydropower deal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California State Water Resources Control Board have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate the review of pre-application activities for hydropower proposals in California.

The MOU will create a more efficient and coordinated process for license applications and water quality certifications, FERC noted in a Nov. 20 statement.

“This MOU will provide for a more coordinated process that will benefit not only FERC and the California Water Board but stakeholders associated with hydropower development in California,” said Jeff Wright, Director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. “Thank you to FERC staff and the staff at the State Water Board who worked diligently to make this MOU a reality.”

Examples of pre-application activities include consultation, environmental scoping, study planning and commenting on an applicant’s preliminary licensing proposal. Among other things, FERC and the board have agreed to:

  • establish deadlines to ensure a timely process;
  • that the board will participate in FERC’s environmental scoping process; and
  • that the board will actively participate in study plan development by identifying studies and 
information necessary for water quality certification.

The MOU focuses on conventional hydropower projects, including pumped storage projects, and does not relate to offshore hydrokinetic 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.