FERC okays changes for in-construction, 5-MW hydro project in Alaska

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 26 approved a March 3 application from Haida Energy Inc. to amend the license for the Híilangaay Hydroelectric Project in Alaska.

The commission order noted: “The licensee proposes certain design changes to the project, which is currently under construction. The project is located on Reynolds Creek near the town of Hydaburg on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.”

In 2000, the commission issued an original license for the Reynolds Creek Project. In subsequent orders, the commission approved amendments to the license to reflect certain design changes, and to approve a change in the project name from the Reynolds Creek Project to the Híilangaay Project.

The project, as amended, consists of: a 20-foot-long, 6-foot-high, concrete diversion dam on Reynolds Creek; a 42-inch-diameter, 3,200-foot-long, steel penstock on saddled supports; a powerhouse containing one generating unit with an installed capacity of 5 MW; a 380-foot-long, 54-inch-diameter, steel tailrace pipe discharging to a location on Reynolds Creek about 50 feet downstream of the log jam; an overhead 34.5-kV, 12-mile-long transmission line; and 3,700 feet of access roads.

The licensee proposed amending its license, in part, because of new requirements in a Fish Habitat Permit (FHP) issued by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Alaska DFG) and because of consultation with the resource agencies. Specifically, the licensee proposed changes to the project description and amendment to affected license articles: change the design of the intake structure; move the penstock alignment further to the north; move the location of the powerhouse about 80 feet further back from Reynolds Creek; modify the tailrace length as a result of moving the powerhouse; add an access road to the diversion area on the south side of Rich’s Pond; adjust the pole locations of the transmission line and widen the line’s right-of-way in the Jumbo Island area to minimize tree-fall hazards; increase the project’s hydraulic capacity from 90 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 100 cfs; change the starting date for the project’s in-water construction window; remove the “perched ledge” design requirement for the tailrace; change the ramping rate requirements to apply only to flow decreases; replace the requirement for a shunt pipeline with jet deflectors on the turbine and eliminate a synchronous bypass valve from the powerhouse; and change the fish screen design from a retractable T-cylinder screen to a conventional bar screen.

The licensee plans to move the site of the powerhouse approximately 80 feet to the west to a more stable location. The powerhouse would be located on a bedrock knob approximately 550 feet downstream of the anadromous fish barrier on Reynolds Creek. The powerhouse would contain a 5-MW Turgo generating unit with a hydraulic capacity of 100 cfs. The project as currently licensed has a hydraulic capacity of 90 cfs.

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.