FERC OKs permit for 12 MW Louisiana hydro project

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on August 1 issued a three-year preliminary permit to the FFP Project 1 LLC of Boston-based Free Flow Power to study the feasibility of the proposed Columbia Lock and Dam Project.

This hydro facility would be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Columbia Lock and Dam on the Ouachita River in Caldwell County, Louisiana. The proposed project would consist of one of three alternatives:

·      Alternative One: integrating two to four modular bulb turbine generation units in each of the four existing gate bays for a total capacity of 12 MW); a 40-foot-long, 60-foot-wide control building located on the west side of the river; and a 12,000-foot-long, 34-kV transmission line.

·      Alternative Two: an intake structure and associated tailrace opposite the lock structure on the west side of the river; a 150-foot-long, 150-foot-wide, 55-foot-high concrete powerhouse containing four horizontal bulb generating units with a total capacity of 12 MW; and a 12,000-foot-long, 34-kV transmission line.

·      Alternative Three: an intake structure, intake channel and associated tailrace at the existing closure dam to the south-east of the lock structure on the east side of the river; a 150-foot-long, 150-foot-wide, 55-foot-high concrete powerhouse containing four horizontal bulb generating units with a total capacity of 12 MW; and a 12,000-foot-long, 34-kV transmission line.

The project would have and average annual generation of 50,000 MWh, and operate as directed by the corps.

During the course of the permit, the commission expects that the permittee will carry out prefiling consultation and study development leading to the possible development of a license application.

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