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FERC issues two original licenses for small hydro projects

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued original operating licenses for two small hydro projects: 6-MW Opekiska Lock and Dam Hydroelectric and 5-MW Morgantown Lock and Dam Hydroelectric.

Opekiska project

The Opekiska project will be located at the existing Opekiska Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River in Monongalia County, West Virginia. This dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Opekiska Lock and Dam is a 336-foot-long, 24-foot-high concrete dam with a full-length spillway equipped with four 84-foot-wide, 24-foot-high tainter gates and a 600-foot-long, 84-foot-wide navigational lock. At a normal water surface elevation, the pool has a volume of 14,400 acre-feet.

The project facilities to be built will be located adjacent to the west end of the lock and dam. A 180-foot-long, 95-foot-wide intake channel will be excavated into the riverbed and shoreline to convey water to the concrete intake structure. Water will flow through a trashrack to a new 120-foot-long by 70-foot-wide by 60-foot-high reinforced concrete powerhouse. The project will operate in a run-of-release mode using flows made available by the Corps that would normally be released through the spillway gates.  Opekiska is expected to generate 25,606 MWh of electricity annually that will be transmitted to a new substation and from there to an existing distribution line.

FFP Missouri 16 LLC filed an application for a license for this project in February 2014. The licensing process was delayed by several actions, including a motion to intervene filed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in August 2014, a notice of intervention filed by the U.S. Department of Interior in January 2016 and a notice of intervention filed by the Monongahela River Trails Conservancy in February 2016.

Morgantown project

The Morgantown project will be located at the existing Morgantown Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River in Monongalia County. The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Morganton Lock and Dam is a 410-foot-long, 20-foot-high concrete dam with a full-length spillway equipped with six 60-foot-wide, 20-foot-high tainter gates and a 600-foot-long, 84-foot-wide navigational lock. At a normal water surface elevation, the pool has a volume of 6,200 acre-feet.

The project facilities to be built will include a 100-foot-long, 64-foot-wide intake channel exacavated into the riverbed immediately downstream of spillway gate 6 on the east side of the river to convey water to the concrete intake structure. Water will flow through a trashrack to a new 170-foot-long by 60-foot-wide by 60-foot-high reinforced concrete powerhouse containing two equally sized Kaplan turbine-generator units. The project will operate in a run-of-release mode using flows made available by the Corps that would normally be released through the spillway gates. Morgantown is expected to generate 18,900 MWh of electricity annually that will be transmitted to a new substation and from there to an existing distribution line.

FFP Missouri 15 Hydroelectric LLC filed an application for a license for this project in February 2014. The licensing process was delayed by several actions, including a motion to intervene filed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in August 2014, a notice of intervention filed by the U.S. Department of Interior in January 2016 and a notice of intervention filed by the city of Morgantown in February 2016.

For more FERC news, click here.

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