Last week, FERC issued a 40-year license to the Grant County PUD to operate the Priest Rapids hydro project. The Priest Rapids project, consisting of Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams is the lowermost project on the Mid-Columbia River. Located upstream are three other FERC licensed projects- Rocky Reach, Rock Island, and Wells.
This paper takes a look at the FERC's "first-in-time" policy for granting preliminary permits to new hydropower projects concluding that FERC's policy contradicts Federal Power Act's directive to the Commission. The paper also argues that this policy also does not allow for competition for licensing.
Citing deficiencies in a number of aspects, FERC has rejected the application (Project No. 13099-000) from Principal Power for hydropower production on Oregon's McKenzie River.In a letter issued on Feb 13, FERC rejected the application that included insufficient details on important issues such as construction activities, reservoirs, and transmission lines.