Judge's ruling allowing Alcoa to start over with 210-MW Yadkin environmental licensing

A decision by a North Carolina judge has granted Alcoa Power Generating Inc.'s motion to dismiss an appeal following the revocation of a water quality certificate for its Yadkin hydropower project.

Alcoa, primarily known for its aluminum production, originally received certification in May 2008 for the 210-MW Yadkin hydroelectric plant, which includes four facilities along North Carolina's Yadkin River.

North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) revoked that certification in December 2010, however, saying Alcoa had misled state officials by failing to disclose details on the Yadkin project's ability to meet state water quality standards.

Alcoa had originally appealed the decision but filed a motion for it to be dismissed without prejudice last month.

"This new path will help us avoid a lengthy legal path," says E. Ray Barnham, Yadkin relicensing manager.

The judge's decision has allowed Alcoa to file a new application, which, if approved by DENR, would last for 50 years.

HydroWorld.com reported in September that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had certified incremental generation for renewable energy production tax credits for upgrades of Yadkin's Unit 1.

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