FERC picks Hydro Friends version of hydroelectric project in Louisiana

On May 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a July 2015 application from Lock+™ Hydro Friends Fund XXIX for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the Columbia Lock and Dam Hydropower Project, to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Columbia Lock and Dam on the Ouachita River in Caldwell County, Louisiana.

In September 2015, Energy Resources USA Inc. had filed an application for a competing preliminary permit for a project at the same site.

  • Hydro Friends’ proposed project would consist of: three 109-foot-wide Large Frame Modules, each containing eight generating units, with a total capacity of 8 MW; a 150-foot-long tailrace at the end of each Large Frame Module; a 2.5-mile-long, 69-kV transmission line; and a new switchyard. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 45,500 megawatt-hours.
  • Energy Resources’ proposed project was to include: a 770-foot-long; 300- foot-wide intake area with a 40-foot-long retaining wall; a 140-foot-wide; 90-foot-long reinforced concrete powerhouse containing two generating units with a total capacity of 9 MW; substation; and a three-mile-long, 69-kV transmission line. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 59,600 megawatt-hours.

Said the May 17 FERC order: “Staff has reviewed the applications and found no basis for concluding that either applicant’s plan is superior to the other. Neither applicant has presented a plan based on detailed studies or the results of agency consultation. Where the plans of the applicants are equally well adapted to develop, conserve, and utilize in the public interest the water resources of the region, the Commission will favor the applicant with the earliest application acceptance date. Because Hydro Friends has the first-filed application, the preliminary permit is issued to Hydro Friends for the Columbia Lock and Dam Hydropower Project No. 14691.”

Section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act authorizes the commission to issue preliminary permits for the purpose of enabling prospective applicants for a hydropower license to secure the data and perform the acts required by section 9 of the FPA, which in turn sets forth the material that must accompany an application for license. 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 that is being studied.

A project contact is: Wayne F. Krouse, Managing Partner, Lock+ Hydro Friends Fund XXIX, Chairman of Hydro Green Energy LLC, PO Box 43796, Birmingham, AL 35243, 877-556-6566, extension 709.