FERC rejects two permit apps for Watterra hydroelectric projects in Kansas

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 5 rejected two recent applications by Watterra Energy Kansas LLC for preliminary permits on hydro projects because other parties had existing permits on at least part of the covered site areas.

In October, Watterra Energy Kansas submitted a preliminary permit application for the Milford Dam Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Milford Dam on the Republican River in Geary County, Kansas. The proposed project would consist of two 2.63-MW Francis turbines connected to a single generator and a 4,440-foot-long, 12.7-kV transmission line.

But, FERC pointed out that on July 27 of this year, the commission issued Mid-Atlantic Hydro LLC a preliminary permit for the Milford Hydroelectric Project, with that permit to expire on June 30, 2018. “A review of your preliminary permit application shows that portions of your proposed project boundary and facilities would overlap with Mid-Atlantic Hydro’s permitted project site,” said FERC. “Under section 4.33(a)(1) of our regulations, the Commission cannot accept a preliminary permit application for project works that would develop, conserve, and utilize, in whole or in part, the same water resources that would be developed, conserved, and utilized by a project for which there is an unexpired preliminary permit. The purpose of a preliminary permit is to preserve the right of the permit holder to have the first priority in applying for a license for the project while the permittee studies the feasibility of its proposed project.”

Also in October, Watterra Energy Kansas submitted a preliminary permit application for the Tuttle Creek Dam Hydroelectric Project. This project would be located at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuttle Creek Dam on the Big Blue River in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. The proposed project would consist of two 5.93-MW Francis turbines connected to a single generator and a 8,200-foot-long, 12.7-kV transmission line.

But in this case, on Jan. 29, 2014, the commission issued Mid-Atlantic Hydro a preliminary permit for the Tuttle Creek Hydroelectric Project. That permit expires on Dec. 31, 2017. “A review of your preliminary permit application shows that portions of your proposed project boundary and facilities would overlap with Mid-Atlantic Hydro’s permitted project site,” said FERC in rejecting that second application.

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.