Hydropower

News & Analysis as of

Draft Released of Highly Anticipated Massachusetts Energy Bill

This week a draft of the long-awaited Massachusetts energy bill was reported out of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The bill would require the Commonwealth’s distribution companies to...more

Hydro relicensing and intervention timing

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues hydropower licenses for terms of up to 50 years. At least 5 years before license expiration, the licensee is required to notify the Commission and the public whether it intends...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - May 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s May 19, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on May 12, 2016. Agenda items E-2 and E-3 have not been summarized due to...more

FERC and microhydro licensing

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed in New York cannot be constructed or operated without a license. The proposed Henson Micro Hydroelectric Project would be located on the...more

New Production Tax Credit “Beginning of Construction” Advice From the IRS

The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-31, providing further guidance regarding the “beginning of construction” requirement for the production tax credit (PTC) under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code and the investment tax...more

FERC relicensing and annual licenses

What happens when the holder of a hydropower license applies to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license, but the original license expires before the relicensing case is resolved? Depending on which federal...more

FERC rejects BOST1 preliminary permit application

If the holder of a preliminary permit under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act to study the feasibility of a proposed hydropower project is denied a successive permit to study the same project at the same site, will the...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal and state officials sign Klamath River dam removal deal - San Jose Mercury News - Apr 7 - The governors of California and Oregon and several other state, federal, power,...more

Federal dams and preliminary permits

U.S. federal entities own dams with untapped hydropower potential that could be developed by private parties -- but a recent regulatory decision highlights the difficulty of winning key approvals when the federal dam owner...more

Utah conduit hydropower project qualifies

Federal energy regulators have issued a letter determining that a proposed Utah hydropower project meets criteria for development without needing a hydropower license. Castle Valley Special Service District's proposed Ferron...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - March 2016

A Note from the Editors - Our March edition of Energy Technology Connections brings you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. In Leaders in the...more

West Branch storage project relicensed

Earlier this month U.S. hydropower regulators issued a new license for the West Branch Project, which includes water storage facilities on the West Branch of the St. Croix River in Maine. The Federal Energy Regulatory...more

Colorado conduit hydropower project

A proposed hydroelectric project in Colorado has received a federal determination that it qualifies as a "qualifying conduit hydroelectric facility" and thus is not required to be licensed under Part I of the Federal Power...more

Wisconsin municipal hydro project license extended

Federal energy regulators have granted a Wisconsin city's request to extend its hydropower project license for five years to allow time for comprehensive river corridor planning. The March 17 order was the result of a...more

FERC rules off-grid micro-hydro needs no license

Federal hydropower regulators have granted reconsideration of a 2015 order finding licensing required for an off-grid micro-hydropower project proposed in Massachusetts. Based on newly submitted evidence that the proposed...more

Vanceboro Dam Storage Project relicensed

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a new license to Woodland Pulp LLC to continue operating and maintaining the Vanceboro Dam Storage Project. Located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River along the...more

Washington tidal power license surrendered

U.S. hydropower regulators have accepted a Washington public utility district's application to surrender its license for an unconstructed tidal power project. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - March 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s March 17, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on March 10, 2016. Agenda items E-5, E-13, E-14, E-16 and C-2 have not been...more

Inflatable flashboards meet historic dam

A hydropower project in Lowell, Massachusetts won the right to replace wooden flashboards with an inflatable pneumatic crest gate system -- and now seeks to modify provisions requiring specific actions to mitigate impacts on...more

Complaint over FERC hydro project property transfers

What happens when the holder of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for a hydropower project buys, sells, or transfers real estate that is part of the project? A complaint recently filed with the Commission raises...more

Waterbury hydro need and economics

A recent order issuing a new hydropower license to Green Mountain Power Corporation's Waterbury Hydroelectric Project sheds insight into the project's operations and economics. The Waterbury project is located at a dam...more

FERC relicenses Waterbury hydro project

More than 16 years after Green Mountain Power Corporation applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license to continue operation and maintenance of its Waterbury Hydroelectric Project on the Little River...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

Successive preliminary permit for Cave Run hydro project

Federal energy regulators have issued an order issuing a successive preliminary permit to Cave Run Energy, LLC for a proposed hydroelectric project to be located at a dam in Kentucky owned by the U.S. Army Corps of...more

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