Gravity Renewables gives up permits on two Pennsylvania hydro projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 9 issued a pair of notices that Hamilton Street Hydro LLC is giving up preliminary permits on small hydro projects in Pennsylvania.

In one case, FERC in June 2013 issued a permit to Hamilton Street Hydro to study the feasibility of the proposed Chain Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the existing Chain Dam located on the Lehigh River in Northampton County, Pa.  

The Chain Dam project would have included: an existing 20-foot-high concrete gravity dam with a 690-foot-long spillway; an existing impoundment having a surface area of 300 acres and a storage capacity of 1,197 acre-feet at an elevation of 190 feet mean sea level (msl); a new powerhouse with three new identical turbine-generator units with an installed capacity of 1,368 kilowatts each, and three identical 20-foot-wide, 10-foot-high, 5-foot-long direct intakes; a new tailrace consisting of a 300-foot-long, 5-foot-high concrete wing wall; and a new 4,160-kV transmission line extending 245 feet from the powerhouse to an existing distribution line. The project would have had an annual generation of 18.3 gigawatt-hours.

Said the March 2 termination request filed with FERC: “Hamilton Street Hydro, LLC (subsidiary of Gravity Renewables, Inc.) has completed its preliminary assessments of the Chain Dam project and has concluded that it cannot advance the project any further. We hereby request to surrender the above referenced permit at this time.”

A virtually identical termination notice was filed on March 2 by Hamilton Street Hydro for a June 2013 permit for the proposed Hamilton Street Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the existing Hamilton Street Dam on the Lehigh River in Lehigh County, Pa.  

The Hamilton Street Dam project would have consisted of: an existing 14-foot-high concrete gravity dam with a 480-foot-long spillway; an existing impoundment having a surface area of 50 acres and a storage capacity of 371 acre-feet at an elevation of 240 feet mean sea level (msl); a new powerhouse with two turbine-generator units having a combined capacity of 2,028 kilowatts and two identical 20-foot-wide, 10-foot-high, 5-foot-long direct intakes; a 500-foot-long section of the existing canal to direct flows to the intakes; a new 40-foot-wide, 100-foot-long tailrace; and a new 1,500-foot-long, 4,160-kV transmission line extending from the powerhouse to an existing substation. The project would have had an annual generation of 9.635 gigawatt-hours.

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.