Industry News

Brookfield completes acquisition of 417-MW Safe Harbor plant

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. and its institutional partners have completed their acquisition of the 417-MW Safe Harbor plant. In February, the group announced acquiring 33% of the project, of which Brookfield will assume about 40% of the investment.

Located on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, Safe Harbor is one of the largest hydropower plants in America’s northeast. The acquisition is valued at US$289 million subject to working capital adjustment and will be funded through available liquidity and capital from Brookfield Renewable and its partners. The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals.

NYPA selects contractors for work at Niagara project

The New York Power Authority has awarded a pair of contracts worth US$20 million for work on the company’s Niagara project.

A $19,046,700 contract was awarded to Ferguson Electric for the installation of auxiliary equipment as part of ongoing upgrades to NYPA’s 240-MW Lewiston pumped-storage plant. The seven-year deal is part of the project’s 10-year, $460 million Life Extension and Modernization program that was approved by NYPA’s Board of Trustees in 2010.

Ferguson Electric will install static exciters, generator circuit breakers, cable, conduits, unit instrumentation and AC/DC distribution system equipment to all 12 pump-turbine units.

Quality Inspection Services was also awarded a contract for on-call testing and inspection services of the Niagara plant. The utility said it requires on-call, third-party testing and inspection services to ensure quality assurance during its construction projects. The deal is not to exceed $1.25 million and lasts five years.

FERC gets seven license applications from Free Flow Power

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission received seven hydro license applications during February from Free Flow Power Corp. for projects totaling 70 MW at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for February 2014, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, was dominated by Free Flow Power filings for original license applications for:

– 6-MW Opekiska Lock and Dam and 5-MW Morgantown Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River, West Virginia;

– 17-MW Allegheny Lock and Dam No. 2 on the Allegheny River, Pennsylvania;

– 12-MW Grays Landing Lock and Dam and 13-MW Maxwell Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River, Pennsylvania; and

– 12-MW Monongahela Lock and Dam 4, also called Charleroi, and 5-MW Point Marion Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River, Pennsylvania.

The February report may be obtained at

Interior provides funding for Yellowtail Afterbay project

A US$655,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior will help the Crow Tribe complete work on an 8-MW hydropower project at the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam. The funding, announced by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell during a recent visit to Montana, will allow for environmental evaluations, permitting, engineering and design work.

The hydroelectric plant is intended to help the Crow Tribe diversify its revenue. Currently, the group is largely dependent on coal mining. Other funding for the project was secured through the Crow Water Rights Settlement signed by President Barack Obama in December 2010.

Yellowtail Afterbay Dam is a 72-foot-high concrete gravity structure on the Bighorn River about 2 miles downstream from Yellowtail Dam.

FERC takes input on new turbines at PGE project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects put out for comment on March 20 an environmental assessment on a Portland General Electric project at the 136.6-MW Clackamas River Hydroelectric Project.

The new minimum flow turbines would increase project capacity by 3.89 MW. The project is located on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River and the mainstem of the Clackamas River in Clackamas County, Ore.

The utility proposes to construct, operate and maintain: a powerhouse at Timothy Lake Dam housing two 950-kW turbines; a powerhouse at Crack-in-the-Ground housing a 1-MW turbine; a powerhouse housing a 135-kW turbine utilizing return flows from the juvenile downstream migrant collection systems and the North Fork fishway adult fish trap; and an 850-kW turbine and induction generator utilizing North Fork fishway attraction flows.

FERC issued a new license for the project in December 2010. Mandatory license conditions require PGE to increase flow releases, initiate new minimum flows, and construct new flow facilities for the benefit of fish passage. These flows are substantial enough to support the installation of turbine-generator units.

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