FERC and Colorado sign agreement to develop small hydropower projects

August 27, 2010 — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has seen rising interest among entities seeking to develop small, low-impact hydropower projects.

Federal surveys have identified several hundred potential small hydropower projects of smaller than 5 MW in Colorado with a combined capacity of more than 1,400 MW, FERC said.

Colorado will reportedly develop a pilot program to test options for simplifying and streamlining procedures for authorizing conduit exemptions and small 5 MW or less exemption projects while ensuring environmental safeguards.

These projects have the potential to make a contribution to Colorado’s renewable energy mix, to help meet Colorado’s new Renewable Energy Standard and to create related business opportunities while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of FERC, said: “Small hydropower has an important role to play in the future of renewable energy in this country and I am pleased that Colorado is committed to this cause.”



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