FERC rejects Twain Resources permit app for hydro project in California

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 13 rejected a December 2014 application from Twain Resources LLC for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of developing the Easygo Hydroelectric Project.

On Feb. 12 of this year, Pine Creek Mine LLC filed a competing license application which the commission accepted for filing on July 28. The commission’s policy is to dismiss without prejudice permit applications that compete with accepted development proposals (applications for license or exemption) when they fail to substantiate the technical, environmental, and economic aspects of the proposed project. This policy is based on the premise that substantiation of the permit proposal is a necessary prerequisite to a comparative analysis of competing applications.

In this case, Pine Creek filed a final development application before commission staff acted on Twain Resources’ permit application. Accordingly, the preliminary permit application from Twain has now been dismissed without prejudice. If Pine Creek’s license application is subsequently dismissed, the Twain permit application will be reinstated automatically, with the original filing date intact, and Twain Resources will be notified.

If the license application is granted to Pine Creek Mine, the preliminary permit applicant will be served a copy of the approving order, and the dismissal of the permit application will be with prejudice from the date of that order. Any request for rehearing must be filed within 30 days from the date of that order. Any party may file a request for rehearing of this Sept. 13 order within 30 days of the date of its issuance.

The Easygo Hydroelectric Project would be located in an inactive underground mine adjacent to Morgan Creek near the City of Bishop in Inyo County, California. Twain’s proposed project included: a steel penstock through a concrete plug connecting to a 1,500 kW impulse turbine; a 1.573 kilovolt-amp generator; and an approximately 2,500-foot-long transmission line connecting the generator to a substation. The estimated annual generation of the project would be 5,600 megawatt-hours. The applicant contact is: Doug Hicks, 280 Floreca Way, Reno, Nevada  89511, phone (775) 997-3429.

Pine Creek Mine LLC plans the Pine Creek Mine Tunnel Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the Pine Creek Mine adjacent to Morgan and Pine creeks in Inyo County. The project’s mine access tunnel, mine plug, mine water storage cavity, penstock, generator, and most of its primary transmission line would be located under federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. An applicant contact is: Craig N. Rossell, Member, Pine Creek Mine LLC, 228 West Bonita Avenue Claremont, California 91711, (909) 482-1000.

The Pine Creek Tunnel Hydroelectric Project would include: the existing Pine Creek Mine site, mine entrance tunnels, mine shafts, and concrete plug; an existing 30-foot-long steel pipe that runs through the concrete plug, to be used as a proposed penstock; a proposed Pelton turbine generating unit located in the mine tunnel with a total installed capacity of 1.5 MW; a proposed underground power line that would run approximately 2,500 feet from the generating unit to the mine portal; and another proposed 60-foot-long transmission line from the mine portal to an existing substation on the mine site. The project would have an average annual generation of 5.6 gigawatt-hours.

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.