FERC rejects additional permits for seven hydroelectric projects

Saying that not enough progress was shown, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 8 rejected March 13 applications from Hydro Green Energy LLC for successive preliminary permits that would cover continued feasibility work on several hydroelectric projects.

The applications were for these projects and were lodged by these Hydro Green Energy subsidiaries:

  • Joe Hardin Lock & Dam Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XXXVI a preliminary permit to preserve Lock XXXVI’s first priority in applying for a license for the proposed project while they studied the proposed project’s feasibility. The proposed project would be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Joe Hardin Lock & Dam No. 3, located on the Arkansas River in Lincoln and Jefferson counties, Arkansas. The proposed project would include 10 generating units, with a total combined capacity of 28 MW. The proposed project would have an average annual generation of 196.358 Gigawatt-hours (GWh).
  • Aberdeen L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XXXVII a preliminary permit to preserve Lock XXXVII’s first priority in applying for a license for the proposed project while they studied the proposed project’s feasibility. The project would be located at the Corps’ Aberdeen Lock and Dam on the Tombigbee River in Monroe County, Mississippi. The proposed project would contain four generating units with a total combined capacity of 10 MW. It would have an average annual generation of about 43.8 GWh.
  • T.S. Ferry L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XLVII a preliminary permit to preserve Lock XLVII’s first priority in applying for a license for the proposed project. The project would be located at the Corps’ Toad Suck Ferry Lock and Dam on the Kentucky River, in Perry and Faulkner counties, Arkansas. The proposed project would include 10 generating units with a total combined capacity of 22.5 MW. The project would have an average annual generation of 147.9 GWh.
  • Emmett Sanders L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XLIV a preliminary permit to preserve Lock XLIV’s first priority in applying for a license for a project located at the Corps’ Emmett Sanders Lock & Dam on the Arkansas River in Jefferson County, Arkansas. The proposed project would include 10 generating units with a total combined capacity of 25 MW. The project would have an average annual generation of 164.3 GWh.
  • David D. Terry L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XLV a preliminary permit to preserve Lock XLV’s first priority in applying for a license. The proposed project would be located at the Corps’ David D. Terry Lock & Dam on the Arkansas River in Pulaski County, Arkansas. The proposed project would include 10 generating units with a total capacity of 20 MW. The proposed project would have an average annual generation of 131.4 GWh.
  • Howard Heflin L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XLIII a preliminary permit to preserve its first priority in applying for a license. The proposed project would be located at the Corps’ Howell Heflin Lock & Dam, on the Tombigbee River, in Greene County, Alabama. The project would include 10 generating units with a total combined capacity of 15 MW. The proposed project would have an average annual generation of 78.8 GWh.
  • Arkansas River L&D Project – In March 2012, staff issued Lock Hydro Friends Fund XXXVIII a preliminary permit to preserve its first priority in applying for a license. The proposed project would be located at the Corps’ Arkansas River Lock & Dam 5 on the Arkansas River in Jefferson County, Arkansas. The proposed project would include 10 generating units with a total capacity of 20 MW. The project would have an average annual generation of 131.4 GWh.

On Jan. 21, 2015, with two months remaining in the 36-month terms of the permits, Hydro Green Energy filed a letter requesting special consideration for successive permit applications because the Corps had not supplied information. On April 28, HGE filed another letter saying that it had received the information it was waiting for from the Corps. Other than obtaining this information, Lock Hydro has not described any progress toward the preparation of a development application either related to making use of the Corps’ information or in regard to any other aspect of the potential projects, said the Sept. 8 FERC order.

“Staff reviewed each of the five semi-annual progress reports filed for these permits,” it said. “Each of the first four reports was limited to a one page letter that contained a single, short paragraph intended to report the progress on all seven permits. No specific progress was described for any of the listed projects. The fifth (last) progress report for each permit was filed in a separate letter. Each letter contained only the same single, short paragraph as the previous reports, saying initial contacts and discussions with suppliers and potential investors were ongoing, but failing to document any progress about deciding to go forward with licensing.”

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.