Muskingum River Hydro LLC, a newly formed company by FFP New Hydro LLC and AECOM Capital, announced this week the company will advance the development of six hydroelectric projects in Ohio. FFP Hydro LLC is majority owned by an affiliate of US Renewable Group, one of the largest investment firms focused exclusively on the renewable energy industry.
The project is estimated to cost about US$100 million and will see the addition of hydroelectric generation capabilities to six existing facilities. All of the facilities are located on the Muskingum River in southeastern Ohio, and construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2018.
Rye Development, which FFP New Hydro acquired in 2015, will manage the project.
License requests related to the facilities submitted in 2012 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) indicate the six projects combined are expected to have a total installed capacity of 23 MW.
Subsidiaries of hydro developer Free Flow Power (Rye's predecessor firm), all using variants of the Clean River Power name, filed applications in 2012 proposing to install seven hydroelectric plants on Ohio's Muskingum River at existing locks and dams owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Based on a feasibility analysis, Free Flow subsequently withdrew an application for the 2-MW Zanesville Lock and Dam at Muskingum River Lock & Dam 10, in Muskingum County.
In December 2015, FERC issued licenses for conventional hydropower projects to four lock and dam operations.
The licensed-projects include:
- 3-MW Beverly Lock and Dam Water Power Project located near the Village of Beverly, in Washington and Morgan counties;
- 4-MW Malta/McConnelsville Lock and Dam Water Power Project, in Morgan County;
- 3-MW Philo Lock and Dam Water Power Project located near the Village of Philo, in Muskingum County; and
- 4-MW Rokeby Lock and Dam Water Power Project located near Bloom Township, in Muskingum and Morgan counties.
Two remaining projects -- 4-MW Devola Lock and Dam No. 2 (No. 13405) and 5-MW Lowell Lock and Dam No. 3 (No. 13407) -- await FERC licensure. But, according to a Muskingum River Hydro LLC official, investment in the planned six-facility project is a “transformative transaction.”
“The formation of Muskingum River Hydro LLC with AECOM Capital assures that development of the Muskingum River hydropower projects will advance to commercial operation with the benefit of the substantial resources and expertise of AECOM,” said Ramya Swaminathan, president and chief operating officer of FFP New Hydro and Rye Development.
“We are pleased to note that less than 60 days after receipt of FERC licenses for four of these six projects, we have entered into this transformative transaction for the projects.”
Swaminathan also said FERC licensure for facilities at Philo, Rokeby, Malta and Beverly dams, have gone through an extensive study process and the licenses represent the culmination of more than four years of significant investment and effort.