Last week, Governor Brad Henry signed a legislation requiring that Oklahoma generate 15% of its electricity through renewable energy sources by 2015. The legislation counts hydropower in its renewable portfolio along with wind, solar, photovoltaic, hydrogen, geothermal, and biomass.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and California have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate procedures and schedules at the federal and state levels for development of hydrokinetic energy projects off the California coast.
According to a FERC news release, FERC and California have agreed to the following:
After hearing from stakeholders at a technical conference in December 2009, FERC will now offer web-based tools that would ease the licensing process for development of small hydropower in the United States.
According to FERC, such tools will be available by August 2010 and will help developers understand the FERC licensing process, help improve coordination with other agencies, and help license applicants complete the process more quickly and efficiently.
In what seems like a progress from conventional ways of looking at hydropower, federal agencies that own and operate hydropower projects around the country are collaborating to find ways to increase hydropower generation while at the same time protecting the non-power interests of the basin.
The officials of the Departments of Interior, Energy and Army, through the Army Corps of Engineers, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, among other things, looks to approach hydropower development from a basin-scale approach.