Hydropower

News & Analysis as of

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - July 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s July 21, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on July 14, 2016. Agenda items E-6, E-19, E-21 and E-22 have not been...more

Alta, snowmaking pipes and conduit hydro power

Federal energy regulators have issued Alta Ski Area a written determination that its proposed micro-hydropower project will not be required to be licensed under the Federal Power Act. If developed, Alta's project would be...more

Maine tidal project preliminary permit issued

A tidal energy developer has been granted a preliminary permit to study a proposed project in Western Passage, near the city of Eastport, Maine. Under the Federal Power Act, most grid-connected tidal power projects...more

LNG In Morocco

Morocco is currently implementing important changes to its energy mix, which may provide interesting opportunities in the LNG sector. This article presents a brief overview of the origin of the national development plan for...more

Green Tax Incentive Compendium

Federal Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION. The Federal Internal Revenue Code provides a business income tax credit in the amount of $0.023 (2015) per kilowatt hour of...more

IRS Issues Further Guidance on “Start of Construction” Requirement for Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Including Continuity...

On May 5, 2016, the IRS released Notice 2016-31, which provides additional guidance on the “start of construction” requirements for the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) in lieu of the PTC. Notice...more

Hydro license transfers and fitness

U.S. hydropower regulators have approved the transfer of the license for an Idaho hydroelectric process, despite an argument that the transferee is not fit to operate the project. At issue is the Smith Creek Project, No....more

Whitestone hydrokinetic license surrendered

Despite efforts to offer a streamlined regulatory path for some demonstration hydropower projects, earlier this year the holder of a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a project proposed for the Tanana River in Alaska...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - June 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s June 16, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on June 9, 2016. Agenda items E-11 and E-18 have not been summarized due to...more

Changes to Japan's Existing Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff System

On May 25, 2016, the Japanese Diet passed a law that will authorize a range of changes to Japan's existing renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT) system. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which sought the...more

Nicatous Lodge proposes off-grid micro-hydro project

A Maine sporting camp has proposed developing an off-grid micro-hydropower project to provide it electricity. Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins LLC proposes to develop the micro-hydro project at its remote property near...more

FERC Upholds and Clarifies Reforms to Market-Based Rate Program

The clarifications address concerns from market participants but leave some questions unanswered. On May 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued Order No. 816-A, which upholds and...more

Alta Ski Area conduit micro-hydro project

Alta Ski Area has proposed developing a micro-hydropower project along an existing pipeline, and hopes to benefit from a streamlined regulatory process. Federal regulators have made a preliminary determination that the...more

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

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