Competition emerges for Pennsylvania hydroelectric project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has gone out for 60 days of public comment on a competing application for a preliminary permit on a hydroelectric project in Luzerne County, Pa.

On Nov. 4, the Borough of Weatherly filed an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir project, to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Francis E. Walter Dam on the Lehigh River in Luzerne County. 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 Borough’s permit application was filed in competition with Mid-Atlantic Hydro LLC’s proposed Francis E. Walter Hydroelectric Project, which was publicly noticed on Sept. 25. The deadline for filing competing applications was Nov. 24, which is a deadline the Borough met, FERC said in its Dec. 19 public notice.

The Borough’s proposed project would consist of: a concrete reinforced powerhouse to be located near the outlet structure of the existing penstock; a substation to be located outside the powerhouse on the west side; two unequal-sized turbine-generators for a total installed capacity of between 9 MW and 11.5 MW; and a proposed 0.5-mile-long, 12.47-kV transmission line interconnecting with an existing Pennsylvania Power and Light line. The estimated annual generation would range between 13 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and 26 GWh.

The applicant contact is: Harold Pudliner, Borough of Weatherly, 10 Wilbur Street, Weatherly, PA 18225; phone: (570) 427-8640.

The proposed Mid-Atlantic Hydro project would consist of: an 11-foot-diameter steel penstock attached to the existing outlet; a concrete powerhouse to be located on the right descending bank; 6-MW and 3-MW generators for a total installed capacity of 9 MW; a concrete tailrace to direct flow from the powerhouse back into the Lehigh River; and a proposed 0.5-mile, 12.4-kV transmission line interconnecting with an existing Pennsylvania Power and Light transmission line. The estimated annual project generation would be 26 gigawatt-hours.

The applicant contact is: Jennifer Mesirow, Mid-Atlantic Hydro LLC, 5425 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 600, Chevy Chase, MD 20815; phone: (301) 718-4826.

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.