Baker Botts says 30% of domestic hydro capacity to be relicensed within 15 years

Over the next 15 years, 50% of all Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed hydroelectric projects will begin a relicensing process – representing 30% of all the licensed hydroelectric capacity in the United States.

“This concentrated period of relicensing activity could present substantial challenges to existing licensees who currently own and operate hydroelectric projects, as well as significant opportunities for competitors,” said Jay Ryan, a partner in Baker Botts’ Washington D.C. office.

“It is not well-known that marketplace participants can compete for hydroelectric assets as part of the relicensing process; there is no guarantee that the current licensee will maintain the FERC license necessary to operate the project. Moreover, applicable law enables competitors who wrest a license from an existing owner to potentially pay something less than fair market value for the hydroelectric asset,” added Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Ryan is a partner in Baker Botts’ Washington D.C. office and an expert in the electric industry. His practice focuses on counseling electric utilities, private equity firms, project developers, hydroelectric owners and operators, and renewable resources on transactional, regulatory and litigation matters.