FERC relicensing

Hydropower Relicensing and Climate Change

Source: 
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION
Volume: 
1-7
Year: 
2011
Abstract: 

Hydropower represents approximately 20% of the world’s energy supply, is viewed as both vulnerable to global climate warming and an asset to reduce climate altering emissions, and is increasingly the target of improved regulation to meet multiple ecosystem service benefits. It is within this context that the recent decision by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject studies of climate change in its consideration of reoperation of the Yuba-Bear Drum-Spaulding hydroelectric facilities in northern California is shown to be poorly reasoned and risky. Given the rapidity of climate warming, and its anticipated impacts to natural and human communities, future long-term fixed licenses of hydropower operation will be ill prepared to adapt if science-based approaches to incorporating reasonable and foreseeable hydrologic changes into study plans are not included. The licensing of hydroelectricity generation can no longer be issued in isolation due to downstream contingencies such as domestic water use, irrigated agricultural production, ecosystem maintenance, and general socioeconomic well-being. At minimum, if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is to establish conditions of operation for 30-50 years, licensees should be required to anticipate changing climatic and hydrologic conditions for a similar period of time.

Author(s): 

Viers, Joshua H

Contact: 
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Broadening the Hydro Base in Washington State

Over the past several months, Coalition members have worked to broaden the energy generation base in Washington State by promoting efficiency upgrades at existing dams, focusing on new renewable energy technologies, and opposing new dam construction where this would lead to marginal additional energy and high environmental impacts.

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File attachments: 
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Comments%20to%20WUTC%20on%20micro-hydro%20FINAL%207%2015%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20AW%20Intervention%207%208%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Barclay%20Creek%20Intervention%2012%2016%2010_0_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Bear%20Creek%20Intervention%204%2013%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Calligan%20Creek%20Intervention%203%2011%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Comment%20NGO%20Ltr.%207%208%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Hancock%20Creek%20Intervention%204%2013%2011_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Martin%20Creek%20Intervention%2012%2016%2010_0_0.pdf
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Final%20Ruth%20Swamp%20Creek%20Intervention%2012%2016%2010_0_0.pdf

FERC opens pathway to 2011 removal of Condit Dam

On April 21, 2011, FERC issued its order on rehearing, denying stay, and dismissing the extension of time request by PacifiCorp on Project No. 2342-021, Condit Dam on Washington's White Salmon River. This order re-opens the path for removing the dam this October, 2011.

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Condit Dam 401 Released

On October 12, 2010 Washington's Dept. of Ecology released its final 401 Water Quality Certificate for removal of Condit dam on the White Salmon River, a tributary to the Columbia. The 125 foot tall Condit dam was built in 1913.

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File attachments: 
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/FWSRNewsRelease_ConditDam401_0.doc
http://hydroreform.org/sites/default/files/Condit%20Dam%20Decommissioning%20Project_0.pdf

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