On Dec. 13, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued another preliminary permit to Albany Engineering Corp. to further study the feasibility of the 23.7-MW Thompson Hydroelectric Project.
The project is to be located adjacent to the New York State Canal Corp.’s Lock C5 located on the Hudson River in Saratoga and Washington counties, N.Y.
The proposed project would consist of:
- a new arc-shaped dam consisting of six 111-foot-long 12-foot-high spillway sections integrated with five 50-foot-diameter circular-shell piers, located 1,600 feet downstream of the existing Northumberland Dam;
- a new 324-acre impoundment between the new dam and the existing Northumberland Dam;
- a 4,000-foot-long by 12-foot-deep segment of the existing Champlain Canal;
- the existing Lock No. 5 facilities;
- five identical turbine units each housed in one of five circular-shell piers, with a total capacity of 23.7 MW; and
- a new 8,000-foot-long, 34.5-kV transmission line.
The project would have an estimated average annual generation of 68.9 gigawatt-hours.
The applicant has previously held a preliminary permit for this site. Albany Engineering provided information to commission staff demonstrating that it is making progress with the analysis of the project’s feasibility. In September 2006, Albany Engineering filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) and Pre-Application Document (PAD) for the Thompson Project. At the time of the filing of its successive permit application, Albany Engineering had developed preliminary designs for the project and carried out a number of studies under the requirements of the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) to determine the feasibility of the proposed project and support the development of an application for a license.
On Aug. 13, Albany Engineering filed a preliminary licensing proposal for the project. However, the ILP is currently held in abeyance pending completion of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) remediation activities within the project area. It is expected that during this new permit term, agency consultation will be conducted and a development application will be prepared, FERC noted.