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EBC Renewable Energy Program: Low-Impact Hydropower – A New Paradigm
October 25, 2013 @ 7:30 am - 12:00 pm
The Federal Power Act authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue licenses and exemptions for projects within its jurisdiction. That jurisdiction encompasses over 1,600 hydropower projects at over 2,500 dams. Approximately 71% of these projects have an installed capacity of 5 megawatts or less.
Testimony of Jeff Wright, Director, Office of Energy Projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, before the House Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee, May 9, 2012:
The imperatives of government to address Climate Change through developing all forms of local, renewable energy resources have spurred a renewed interest in small (< 5 MW), low-impact hydropower projects. Recent federal and state legislative initiatives to streamline and facilitate low-impact project development reflect this renewed interest. These initiatives include creating new structures for licensing and permitting, providing additional resources to support and promote small project development, and recognizing that small, low-impact hydropower projects are very different in their scope and impacts than traditional hydroelectric generation facilities.
The goals of this EBC Renewable Energy Program are to:
- Provide an overview of how recent changes in law and policy could affect the development of small, low-impact projects in New England;
- Describe current requirements for federal and state licensing/permitting and how those requirements could change in light of new regulatory initiatives;
- Present a birds-eye view of an ongoing project-in-development in New England;
- Identify the most pressing needs and concerns of project proponents, project regulators, and environmental advocates.
Carol Wasserman, Senior Manager, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs
New England Hydropower Company
- Dwayne Breger, Director, Renewable and Alternative Energy Development Division, MassDOER
- Bill Gode, MassDCR
- Lealdon Langley, Director, Wetlands and Waterways Program, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
- Russ Cohen, Riverways Program, Division of Ecological Restoration, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
- Stephen Long, The Nature Conservancy
- Caitlin Peale, Conservation Law Foundation
- Michael Kerr, Co-Founding and Managing Principal, New England Hydropower Company
- Sarah Faldetta, New England Hydropower Company