FERC receives license application for 5-MW Kentucky River L&D 11 hydro project

Kentucky River Lock and Dam

A unit of hydro developer Free Flow Power filed a hydropower license application in April with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the 5-MW Kentucky River Lock and Dam No. 11 hydroelectric project in Kentucky.

The filing by FFP Project 92 LLC was the primary hydropower licensing activity reported in the Energy Infrastructure Update for April, compiled by FERC's Office of Energy Projects.

FERC last year approved a pilot project for Kentucky River L&D 11 to test a two-year hydropower licensing process for non-powered existing dams and closed-loop pumped-storage projects. The project (P-14276) would be built at the Kentucky River Authority's existing Lock and Dam 11 on the Kentucky River in Estill and Madison counties of Kentucky.

In January 2014, FERC invited developers to propose pilot projects to test the two-year licensing process. FERC was directed to examine the two-year process by Congress in the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (H.R.267).

FERC established minimum criteria for the two-year process including:

  • The project must cause little or no change to existing surface and groundwater flows and uses;
  • The project must not adversely affect federally listed threatened and endangered species;
  • If the project is proposed to be located at or to use a federal dam, the request to use the two-year process must include a letter from the dam owner saying the plan is feasible;
  • If the project would use any public park, recreation area or wildlife refuge, the request to use the two-year process must include a letter from the managing entity giving its approval to use the site; and
  • For a closed-loop pumped-storage project, the project must not be continuously connected to a naturally flowing water feature.

FERC, which previously used the infrastructure update as an in-house tool, began making the monthly update public beginning with December 2010. The report allows the public to track the activities of the Office of Energy Projects in the areas of hydropower, natural gas, electric generation, and electric transmission.

The Office of Energy Projects' Energy Infrastructure Update for April 2015 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2015/apr-infrastructure.pdf.

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