FERC terminates exploratory permit for 5-MW hydro project in California

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 24 issued an order terminating a June 2014 preliminary permit issued to Archon Energy 1 Inc. for a 5-MW hydroelectric project in California.

Under the permit, the company was to study the feasibility of the proposed Black Butte Afterbay Hydropower Project. The permittee was notified on March 6 that its first six-month progress report due on November 30, 2014, was overdue, and so the permit would likely be cancelled within 30 days. The permittee did not file a response; therefore, the preliminary permit is hereby cancelled, said the April 24 notice.

The preliminary permit is cancelled effective the close of business on May 24. But, if the commission is closed on this day, then the permit is cancelled effective the close of business on the next day in which the commission is open. No applications for this site may be submitted until after the cancellation is effective.

The Black Butte Afterbay Hydropower Project was to be located on Stony Creek near the city of Orland in Glenn County, Calif. The project would be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Black Butte dam and would utilize the existing infrastructure and afterbay of the dam. It would have consisted of: a bypass intake in the afterbay of Black Butte reservoir; two 2,800-foot-long pressurized, reinforced concrete pipes creating about 20 feet of head; a powerhouse, containing two low-head, 2.5-MW Kaplan turbine-generators; and an undefined interconnection point to the grid within several hundred feet of the proposed powerhouse. The estimated annual generation would have been 22,000 megawatt-hours.

The City of Santa Clara is a licensee of two projects currently using the same water resources as Archon’s proposed project. Archon’s project was to be located immediately downstream from Santa Clara’s Black Butte Project and upstream of its High Line Canal Project.

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.