FERC issues permit for study of 4.2-MW Alaska hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 4 granted a three-year preliminary permit to Yedatene Na LLC for a 4.2-MW hydro project in Alaska.

On Nov. 6, 2014, Yedatene Na filed an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the proposed Jack River Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be located on the Jack River near the city of Cantwell in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska. The project is located on approximately 710 acres of lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The proposed project would consist of the following new facilities: a 750- foot-long, 250-foot-high dam on the Jack River with a 250-foot-high spillway built into the crest of the dam; an 865-acre reservoir with a storage capacity of 50,700-acre-feet; two 300-foot-long, 4-foot-diameter steel penstocks; a 75-foot-long, 125-foot-wide powerhouse with two 2.1-MW Francis turbine units; a 20-foot-wide, 20-foot-deep, 25-foot-long concrete tailrace discharging flows into the Jack River; and an 8,000-foot-long, 15-kV transmission line tying into the existing substation northwest of the project. The estimated annual generation would be 23.4 gigawatt-hours.

The Interior Dept., which oversees BLM, told FERC that the land status of the project was incorrectly presented in the preliminary permit application, as the land utilized by the project is both state-selected and dual-selected BLM-administered land. It also stated that the permittee will be required to contact the BLM Glennallen Field office prior to coordination of any field or study activities. Said FERC in response: “A permit applicant is not required to have obtained all access rights to a project site as a condition of receiving a preliminary permit, and a preliminary permit does not grant a right of entry onto any lands. A permittee must obtain any necessary authorizations and comply with any applicable laws and regulations to conduct any field studies.”

The purpose of a preliminary permit is to preserve the right of the permit holder to have the first priority in applying for a license for the project that is being studied.

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.