FERC seeks input on license app for 48-MW Demopolis hydro project in Alabama

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 15 went out for comment on an Original License application filed in July 2013 by Birch Power Co. for the 48-MW Demopolis Lock and Dam Hydroelectric Project.

The project location is at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Demopolis Lock and Dam on the Tombigbee River, west of the city of Demopolis, in Marengo and Sumter counties, Alabama. The proposed project would occupy approximately 23 acres of federal land administered by the Corps.

The applicant contact is: Nicholas E. Josten, GeoSense, 2742 Saint Charles Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83404, (208) 528-6152.

The deadline for filing comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions is 60 days from the issuance date of this June 15 notice, with reply comments due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice.

The proposed project would utilize the existing Corps’ Demopolis Lock and Dam and Reservoir, and would consist of these new facilities:

  • a 900-foot-long excavated intake channel (headrace);
  • two 60-foot-long by 32-foot-wide trash racks with 2.5-inch bar spacing;
  • a 201-foot-long by 80-foot-wide powerhouse containing two 24-MW Kaplan turbines, having a total installed capacity of 48 MW;
  • a substation;
  • a forebay oxygen diffuser line system to enhance dissolved oxygen;
  • a 2,000-foot-long excavated tailrace channel;
  • a 1,700-foot-long retaining wall along the north side of the tailrace channel; and
  • a 4.4-mile-long, 115-kV transmission line.

The average annual generation of the project would be about 213,000 megawatt-hours.

Incidentally, Birch Power has applied to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification as part of this FERC license application for this project. The ADEM is soliciting comments and information from interested parties until June 17 regarding this application. The applicant is currently awaiting further notice from the FERC regarding various aspects of the project, ADEM said in a public notice about the Section 401 permitting.

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.