DOE Grid Study Recommends Modernizing Hydropower Licensing Process
Hydropower plays a critical role in electric grid by providing reliably and resiliency
Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2017) – The following is a statement from Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association, on the Department of Energy’s Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability:
“As an industry, we are pleased the Energy Department’s comprehensive grid study reaffirmed what we’ve known for decades – hydropower plays a critical role by providing reliably and resiliency, while enabling other renewables onto the grid. The report clearly demonstrates that hydropower provides clean, baseload generation, along with essential ancillary services such as frequency regulation, voltage support, reduced transmission congestion, and black-start capability.
“Despite the numerous benefits hydropower provides to the grid, which are undervalued, its growth is hampered by an outdated licensing process. The report notes that the development timelines for 29 projects took over 15 years from application to operation. It shouldn’t take over a decade to license a hydropower project, while a wind or solar project can be permitted in just a few years. The report’s recommendation to revisit the current licensing and relicensing process to minimize regulatory burden should send a signal to Congress that now is the time to pass legislation to modernize the process by increasing predictability, coordination and timeliness.
“We applaud Secretary Perry for his leadership on this issue, as this report will help our industry to enhance the existing hydro system, and promote responsible new energy infrastructure development.”