Interior Requests To Reconsider Decision to License Hydrokinetic Project on Mississippi


Through a letter sent last week, the Department of Interior (DOI) has requested FERC for a rehearing of the decision to issue an amended license that allows for operation of hydrokinetic project on the Mississippi river in Hastings, Minnesota.

Interior has long been requesting for adoption of pilot license process for the project. The pilot licensing process established by FERC for projects using new hydrokinetic technology, issues license for no more than five years at a time. Interior has argued that such a process would allow careful testing of the technology to identify any impacts. Although FERC acknowledged Interior’s recommendation, it did not require Hastings project to undergo the pilot licensing process.

In the request letter, DOI has also claimed that FERC’s determination that the proposed license amendment was not inconsistent with the Mississippi Comprehensive Management Plan is not accurate. In that light, the DOI has requested for a rehearing of FERC’s decision.

The hydrokinetic project on the Mississippi River uses two turbines with a capacity of 35kW each to generate electricity.