FERC grants two-year deadline break for New York hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 13 granted a two-year construction deadline break for the Green Island Power Authority for a major hydropower rebuild project in New York.

On Aug. 5, Albany Engineering Corp. on behalf of the Green Island Power Authority, licensee for the Green Island Hydroelectric Project, filed a request for extensions of time for various license conditions. The project is located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Green Island-Troy Lock and Dam on the Hudson River in Albany County, New York.

In addition to the project’s existing facilities, the new license authorizes major new construction, including major modifications to the Corps facilities. These include:

  • remove the existing pneumatic flashboards on the main spillway, modify the crest of the Corps main spillway, and install new hydraulically operated crest gates;
  • modify the crest of the Corps auxiliary spillway, relocate a section of it to accommodate a powerhouse expansion, and raise the normal impoundment elevation;
  • install a new trash boom across the forebay;
  • replace the four existing 1.5-MW generating units with four new 6.0-MW generating units and expand the east and west sides of the existing powerhouse to allow for the installation of four new 6.0-MW generating units, for a total installed capacity of 48 MW; and
  • install a new 13.8-kV, 70-foot-long transmission line.

The company cited extenuating circumstances that necessitate revision of the original development plan, including:

  • Irreparable damage to the inflatable flashboards caused by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in August and September 2011.
  • The prolonged length of time required for mandated brownfield remediation of the former Ford Motor Co. property adjacent to and within the project boundary of the Green Island Project.
  • The presence of an aging high-pressure gas transmission main (owned by National Grid) in the tailrace area of the proposed powerhouse expansion, which may need to be relocated.
  • The cumulative impact imposed by compliance with license requirements for environmental considerations and navigational servitude resulting in a very limited in-river construction season.

In the Nov. 13 order, FERC granted various breaks, including extension of the deadline to commence and complete construction to Aug. 17, 2016, and August 17, 2019, respectively. The old deadline dates to commence and complete construction were Aug. 17, 2014, and Aug. 17, 2017, 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.