Licensing & Implementation

At least five years before a license expires, an owner notifies FERC of its intent to seek a new operating license for the hydroelectric project. The project, its surrounding environment and related resources are extensively studied during this process, in consultation with state and federal agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations and local community interests. The purpose of the licensing process, which can take several years, is to determine what new license conditions will most effectively balance developmental values (electric power, flood control and water supply) with nondevelopmental values (environmental resource protection and values) and best reflect the public interest.
 
PacifiCorp is currently involved in relicensing the Klamath River project (FERC No. 2082) in southern Oregon and northern California.  
 
PacifiCorp has reached settlement agreements to decommission the Condit Project  (FERC No. 2342) on the White Salmon River in Washington and the Powerdale Project (FERC No. 2659) on the Hood River in Oregon. In 2007, PacifiCorp decommissioned the American Fork Project (FERC No. 696) in Utah. An important part of PacifiCorp's relicensing approach is to ensure that concerns are heard and that information about the process is readily available.
 
The FERC has recently issued new licenses for several of PacifiCorp's hydropower developments in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Montana. The license periods range in length from 30 - 50 years. A license order typically contains the following; a description of the project works licensed; a description of the project operation; environmental conditions; engineering conditions; and compliance conditions. 
 
In 2008, the FERC issued licenses for the Lewis River Projects (Merwin FERC No. 935, Yale FERC No. 2071, Swift No. 1, FERC No. 2111) in southwest Washington and the Prospect Nos. 1, 2, and 4 Project (FERC No. 2630) on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. In the past five years, PacifiCorp has received new FERC licenses for its 6 MW Bigfork project (FERC No. 2652) in Montana, the 80 MW Bear River project (FERC No. 20) in southeastern Idaho and the 188 MW North Umpqua River Project (FERC No. 1927) in southern Oregon.
 
Once FERC issues a new license for a project, PacifiCorp must comply with the terms and conditions of the license. Often, during the first several years (5 - 15 years) of a new license, PacifiCorp may be required to construct new facilities such as fish ladders or screens, or implement environmental enhancement measures for fish or terrestrial species. Additionally, new operational requirements are often instituted during this time, such as ramping restrictions or increased instream flow requirements. After this period of project modifications and operational changes is complete, the hydropower system will operate in a more routine manner, according to the terms of the new license.
 
In each case, PacifiCorp operates under and implements the new license conditions in consultation with federal resource agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as state resource agencies in each respective state.