FERC okays Arkansas Electric permit for 48-MW hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 11 granted a March 2015 application from Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) for a preliminary permit that allows it to study the feasibility of the proposed Joe Hardin Lock & Dam #3 Project.

This project would be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Joe Hardin Lock and Dam #3 on the Arkansas River, near the towns of Pine Bluff and Grady in Jefferson and Lincoln counties, Arkansas. The permit allows for three years of exclusivity for this feasibility work, with no competing applications accepted by FERC during that time.

The proposed project would consist of: a 800-foot-long, 400-footwide intake channel; a 200-foot-long, 210-foot-wide powerhouse containing four generating units with a total capacity of 48 MW; a 1,300-foot-long, 500-foot-wide tailrace; and a five-mile-long, 115-kV transmission line. The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 155,000 megawatt-hours, and operate as directed by the Corps.

Notable is that in March 2015, days after the AECC application was filed, Hydro Green Energy LLC filed a competing application for a successive preliminary permit for the Joe Hardin Lock and Dam Project. An order denying the application was issued in September 2015.

In August 2015, Energy Resources USA Inc. filed a competing preliminary permit application for the Joe Hardin Lock and Dam Project. The application was rejected in September 2015, because it was filed after the deadline for filing competing applications.

During the course of the permit, the commission expects that Arkansas Electric will carry out prefiling consultation and study development leading to the possible development of a license application. The prefiling process begins with preparation of a Notice of Intent (NOI) and Pre-Application Document (PAD).

An Arkansas Electric contact is: Curtis Q. Warner, Director–Compliance and Support, 501-570-2462, Curtis.Warner@aecc.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.