A Maryland city to build low-head hydro using its raw water line

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The City of Frostburg in northwestern Maryland, has obtained an exemption from license to develop hydropower at the city’s municipal raw water line, discharging water from the hydro plant to the raw water reservoir. The City can now start constructing the 75 kilowatt project.

The City’s application to FERC states that the plant will operate automatically only when water is being pumped from the Piney Run Dam and/or Savage Mountain supply wells to the raw water supply reservoir.

The City estimates the project will have an average annual generation of 240 megawatt-hours. The City will use a 75 kilowatt Pelton turbine to be housed in a powerhouse. The City has two years to start constructing the powerhouse.The City anticipates minimal environmental impacts from the construction and continued operation of the facility. Any impacts will be during construction of the powerhouse for which the City proposes to install erosion and sediment control measures prior to construction to minimize any impacts to the wetland.

he FERC exemption order can be found here.