Watterra Energy Kansas seeks permits on two small hydroelectric projects

Watterra Energy Kansas LLC applied Oct. 9 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for two preliminary permits, good for three years apiece, that would allow it exclusive time to look at the feasibility of small hydro projects in Kansas.

The developer would be expected to file license applications for the projects within the three-year term of each preliminary permit, though the company could get two-year extensions of the preliminary permits under certain conditions.

One application covered the proposed Milford Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the Milford Dam, a development of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The project is located on the Republican River in Greary County, Kansas, approximately five miles northwest of Junction City. The construction of the existing dam was completed in 1967 with a main purpose of flood control, drinking water supply, and recreation.

The applicant is proposing to construct a new powerhouse downstream of the existing dam to accommodate a hydroelectric generating system with a design head of 83 feet. The proposed project will consist of twin horizontal Francis turbines connected to a single generator. Each turbine will have a nominal capacity of 2.63 MW (5.26 MW combined). The expected annual average generation of the project is 30,596 MWh.

The proposed project will operate strictly in “run-of-the-river” mode according to USACE regulations. The exact type, number, capacity, and arrangement of the turbine units and proposed structures may be modified following further advancement of design studies and engineering.

The project will include a new 4,440-foot-long 12.7-kV transmission line. It is anticipated at this time that the proposed project would interconnect with an existing distribution line to the north of the proposed powerhouse near the Milford Fish Hatchery. The distribution line is owned by DS&O Rural Electric Coop.

Second application covers the nearly 12-MW Tuttle Creek project

Watterra Energy Kansas also wants a prelimary permit for the proposed Tuttle Creek Dam Hydroelectric Project. This project site is located at the Tuttle Creek Dam, a development of the USACE. The project is located on the Big Blue River in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, approximately five miles north of the City of Manhattan. The construction of the existing dam was completed in 1962 with a main purpose of flood control.

Watterra is proposing to construct a new powerhouse downstream of the existing dam to accommodate a hydroelectric system with a design head of 60 feet. The proposed project will consist of twin horizontal Francis turbines connected to a single generator. Each turbine will have a nominal capacity of 5.93 MW (11.86 MW combined). The expected annual average generation of the project is 64,643 MWh.

The proposed project will operate strictly in “run-of-the-river” mode. The exact type, number, capacity, and arrangement of the turbine units and proposed structures may be modified following further advancement of design studies and engineering.

The project will include a new 8,200-foot-long, 12.7-kV transmission line. It is anticipated at this time that the proposed project would interconnect with an existing distribution system at Kansas Power and Light‘s North Manhattan Substation.

A company contact is: Craig Dalton, Watterra Energy Kansas LLC, 220 West Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, 406.384.0080 (phone), cdalton@watterraenergy.com.

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.