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Small/Low-Impact Hydropower Projects


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  Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Conduit Exemption 10-MW Exemption License
Installed Capacity Limitations 5 MW or less 40 MW or less 10 MW or less Unlimited
Location Limitations in Addition to Off-Limits Sites Must be located on a non-federally owned conduit used for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption

Cannot be located at an impoundment

Cannot be at a project licensed or exempted under Part I of the FPA as of August 9, 2013
Must be located on a conduit used for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption

Cannot be located at an impoundment
Must be located at an existing dam or natural water feature

Cannot be located at a dam owned or operated by the federal government
 
Ownership Limitations Proof of ownership not required, but must verify the conduit is not owned by the federal government Must have all real property rights necessary to develop and operate the project or an option to obtain such interests

Proof of ownership required at time of filing the application
If located on private lands, must have all real property rights necessary to develop and operate the project or an option to obtain such interests

Proof of ownership required at time of filing the application
Proof of ownership not required at time of filing the application; power of eminent domain may be conferred by section 21 of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 814
Term Limitations Not Applicable Issued in perpetuity Issued in perpetuity Up to 50 years for license
May be Subject to the Following Mandatory Conditions No conditions under the FPA may be imposed Federal and state fish and wildlife conditions under section 30(c) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 823a(c) Federal and state fish and wildlife conditions under section 30(c) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 823a(c) Federal reservation conditions under section 4(e) of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 797(e)

Fishway prescriptions under section 18 of the FPA, 16 U.S.C. 811
Consultation Requirements Not Applicable 3-stage consultation required under 18 C.F.R. 4.38

With concurrence from all resource agencies, the applicant may seek waiver of the consultation requirements under 18 C.F.R. 4.38(e)
3-stage consultation required under 18 C.F.R. 4.38

With concurrence from all resource agencies, the applicant may seek waiver of the consultation requirements under 18 C.F.R. 4.38(e)
Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) required under 18 C.F.R 5

If waiver of ILP regulations was sought under 18 C.F.R. 5.1(f), and granted, then 3-stage consultation required under 18 C.F.R. 4.34(i) for the Alternative Licensing Process or 18 C.F.R. 4.38 for the Traditional Licensing Process

With concurrence from all resource agencies, the applicant may seek waiver of the consultation requirements under 18 C.F.R. 4.38(e)
Preparation of Environmental Document Categorically exempt from preparing an environmental document under 18 C.F.R. § 380.4(a)(3) Categorically exempt from preparing an environmental document under 18 C.F.R. 380.4(a)(14) unless determined necessary Prepared consistent with NEPA Prepared consistent with NEPA
Project Boundary Not Applicable Includes powerhouse and connection to conduit (excludes the transmission line and the conduit itself). Includes all associated lands and facilities, such as the powerhouse, dam, impoundment, transmission line, and any lands that fulfill a project purpose (e.g., recreation, resource protection, and access roads). Includes all associated lands and facilities, such as the powerhouse, dam, impoundment, transmission line, and any lands that fulfill a project purpose (e.g., recreation, resource protection, and access roads).
Filing Fees None None None None
Annual Charges Not Applicable Currently projects up to 1.5 MW not charged Currently projects up to 1.5 MW not charged Currently projects up to 1.5 MW not charged
Implementing Statutes FPA section 30(a).
16 U.S.C. § 823a (a)
FPA section 30(b). 16 U.S.C. 823a(b) Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) sections 405 and 408.
16 U.S.C. §§ 2705 and 2708
FPA sections 4 thru 27 16 U.S.C. §§ 797-821
Application Regulations Please visit How to File a Notice of Intent to Construct a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility section of our website 18 C.F.R. §§ 4.90-4.96 18 C.F.R. §§ 4.101-4.108 18 C.F.R. § 5 (Integrated Licensing Process)
18 C.F.R. §§ 4.30-4.61(Traditional Licensing Process)
18 C.F.R. § 4.34(i) (Alternative Licensing Process)

For a narrative description of the project types, see: Conduit Exemption, 10-MW Exemption, and License.


CONTACT
Conduit Exemptions
Robert Bell
Telephone: 202-502-6062
Email: robert.bell@ferc.gov

Northwest Area
(WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, AK, HI)
Ryan Hansen
Telephone: 202-502-8074
Email: ryan.hansen@ferc.gov

West Area
(CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, UT)
Shana Murray
Telephone: 202-502-8333
Email: shana.murray@ferc.gov

Midwest Area
(ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, MN, WI, IA, IL, MI, IN, OH)
Lesley Kordella
Telephone: 202-502-6406
Email: lesley.kordella@ferc.gov

Mid-Atlantic Area
(VA, WV, MD, PA, NY, NJ, DE)
Monir Chowdhury
Telephone: 202-502-6736
Email: monir.chowdhury@ferc.gov

South Area
(TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, TN, AL, GA, KY, FL, NC, SC)
Michael Spencer
Telephone: 202-502-6093
Email: michael.spencer@ferc.gov

New England Area
(CT, MA, NH, VT, RI, ME)
Tom Dean
Telephone: 202-502-6041
Email: thomas.dean@ferc.gov
 
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Updated: September 17, 2013