Washington district asks for deadline extension for 9-MW hydro project

The Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanongan County in Washington state on March 19 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an extension of time to get its 9-MW hydro project in construction under a FERC license issued in July 2013.

The license is for the Enloe Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be built on the Enloe Dam located in north-central Washington on the Similkameen River. Article 301 of the Enloe License requires that construction of project works commence within two years of license issuance. Thus, the start of construction of project works is to be commenced by July 9, 2015.

The District asked for a two-year extension of this construction commencement deadline such that the construction start deadline will be extended to July 9, 2017. Section 13 of the Federal Power Act authorizes the commission to grant one extension of the deadline, for no more than two additional years.

The district said it has made considerable progress in developing the project and has submitted all documents and plans required of the Enloe License. Most of the project-specific management and monitoring plans have already earned commission approval, with three others still awaiting commission approval. Concurrent with the district’s diligent preparation of the requisite plans, it faced legal challenges to its water rights and Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification. Resolving the challenge to the district’s water rights has proven particularly difficult, it added.

“The District notes that Article 301 of the Enloe License also requires construction to be completed within five years of license issuance,” the district said. “At present, the District is not seeking an extension of the construction completion deadline. Upon developing a more definitive plan and schedule for construction activities, the District will revisit this deadline to determine the extent to which an extension will be necessary.”

The project will include: the existing 315-foot-long, 54-foot-high concrete gravity arch Enloe Dam with an integrated central overflow spillway; an existing 76.6-acre reservoir; a new substation adjacent to the powerhouse; a new powerhouse with two Kaplan turbine units totaling 9 MW of installed capacity; and a new 100-foot-long, 13.2-kV primary transmission line connecting the substation to an existing distribution line.