FERC rejects Watterra Energy permit app for Kansas hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, citing a pre-existing preliminary permit for the site, on Jan. 5 rejected a Dec. 30, 2016, application from Watterra Energy LLC for a preliminary permit application for the proposed Tuttle Creek Dam Hydroelectric Project.

The project would be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Tuttle Creek Dam on the Big Blue River in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, approximately five miles north of the City of Manhattan, Kansas. The proposed project would consist of an 18-foot-long penstock feeding into two 5.93-MW hydropower turbines connected to a single generator unit that would be installed in a new powerhouse located downstream of the existing dam.

A new 8,200-foot-long, 12.7 kV transmission line would connect the project to an existing distribution system. The installed capacity of the project would be 11.86 MW and it would generate about 64,643 megawatt-hours.

The commission noted that in January 2014, it issued to Mid-Atlantic Hydro LLC a preliminary permit for the Tuttle Creek Hydroelectric Project. The three-year permit expired on Dec. 31, so it was technically still in effect on Dec. 30, when the application for a preliminary permit for the same site was filed. FERC added: “Under section 4.33(a)(1) of our regulations, the Commission cannot accept a preliminary permit application for project works that would develop, conserve, and utilize, in whole or in part, the same water resources that would be developed, conserved and utilized by a project for which there is an unexpired preliminary permit. Because your preliminary permit application was filed before the expiration of the existing preliminary permit, the preliminary permit application is rejected.”

Watterra Energy on Jan. 5 again filed the preliminary permit application with FERC for this project.

A project contact is: Craig Dalton, Watterra Energy LLC, 220 West Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, 406.384.0080 (phone), cdalton@watterraenergy.com.

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.