FERC plans enviro review on six Mon River hydro projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Sept. 2 that it is kicking off the scoping process as it gets ready to write a combined environmental assessment on six hydroelectric projects in Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia planned by affiliates of Free Flow Power.

The commission is currently reviewing license applications, filed on Feb. 27, by: FFP Missouri 16 LLC; FFP Missouri 15 LLC; Solia 8 Hydroelectric LLC; FFP Missouri 13 LLC, Solia 5 Hydroelectric LLC; and Solia 4 Hydroelectric LLC. The projects are located at existing locks and dams on the Monongahela River in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. The locks and dams are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Commission staff intends to prepare a multi-project environmental assessment (EA), which will be used by the commission to determine whether, and under what conditions, to issue original licenses for the projects. It will hold three scoping meetings for the Monongahela River projects in October in Morgantown, W.Va., Uniontown, Pa., and Pittsburgh to receive input on the scope of the EA.

Notable is that FERC on Sept. 2 issued a separate scoping notice on a planned EA for three other Free Flow Power projects to be located at Corps dams on the Ohio River. The Monongahela River flows into the Ohio River in downtown Pittsburgh.

Free Flow Power proposes to operate the six projects in “run-of-river” mode, using only the existing flows that would normally be released through the Corps’ gates or spillway. Each project would include an intake, a powerhouse with two Kaplan turbine-generator units, a tailrace, a substation adjacent to the powerhouse, and a transmission line.

  • The Opekiska Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would be the most upstream project at river mile (RM) 115.4 and would include a concrete powerhouse on the west bank of the river; two turbine-generator units with a combined capacity of 6 MW); and a 3,511-foot-long, 12.5-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing distribution line.
  • The Morgantown Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would be at RM 102.0 and include a concrete powerhouse; two turbine-generator units with a combined capacity of 5 MW; and a 2,162-foot-long, 12.5-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing distribution line.
  • The Point Marion Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would be located at RM 90.8 and would include a concrete powerhouse on the east bank of the river; two turbine-generator sets with a combined capacity of 5 MW; and a 3,325-foot-long, 69-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing substation.
  • The Grays Landing Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would be located at RM 82.0 and include a concrete powerhouse on the west bank of the river; two turbine-generator units with a combined capacity of 12 MW; and a 9,965-foot-long, 69-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing distribution line.
  • The Maxwell Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project would be located at RM 61.2 and would include a concrete powerhouse; two turbine-generator units with a combined capacity of 13 MW; and a 350-foot-long, 69/138-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing distribution line.
  • The Monongahela Lock and Dam Number Four (Charleroi) Hydroelectric Project would be at RM 41.5 and would include a concrete powerhouse; two turbine-generator units with a combined capacity of 12 MW; and a 45-foot-long, 69-kV, overhead transmission line to connect the project substation to an existing distribution line.

The Opekiska, Morgantown, Point Marion, Gray’s Landing, Maxwell, and Charleroi projects would produce an annual average of 25,300 megawatt-hours (MWh), 18,900 MWh, 16,500 MWh, 47,300 MWh, 56,800 MWh, and 48,500 MWh, respectively.

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.