The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a new policy on establishing licensing terms for hydroelectric projects located at non-federal dams. The new policy will provide more certainty and efficiency for stakeholders engaging in the Commission's regulatory process.
The new policy establishes a 40-year default license term for original and new licenses under the Commission's jurisdiction. However, FERC identified three circumstances where it will consider issuing a license for fewer or more than 40 years:
- When necessary to coordinate license terms for projects located in the same river basin;
- When a license term is explicitly agreed upon in a generally supported comprehensive settlement agreement, provided that there is no conflict with coordination of license terms for projects located within the same river basin; and
- When significant measures are required under the license to be issued, or significant measures were voluntarily implemented during the prior license term, provided it does not conflict with coordination of license terms for projects located within the same river basin.
Today's (10/19) policy statement stems from a notice of inquiry FERC issued on Nov. 17, 2016, seeking comments on whether, and if so how, it should revise its current license term policy.
The new policy takes effect on the date it is published in the Federal Register.