5.5.6 Promoting Generation Upgrades at Existing Hydro Facilities

LPDD Recommendation:Congress could direct FERC, when approving a project upgrade or efficiency improvement, to extend license terms beyond 50 years to allow the project owner sufficient time to recoup the cost of investment.”

LPDD Recommendation:Congress should reform FERC’s license amendment process by implementing a fast-track procedure for efficiency upgrades, modernization activities, and upgrades that are not anticipated to produce significant environmental effects.”

2017’s Proposed HR 3043

Would have directed FERC to consider the significant investment of project upgrades and improvements when establishing the new license term during a project’s next relicensing.

Proposed HR 8 of 2015

Would have (among other things) authorized FERC to extend license terms beyond 50 years when approving a project upgrade or efficiency improvement.

American Water Infrastructure Act

Created a fast-track procedure for the licensing of efficiency upgrades at hydropower facilities, as well as modernization activities and upgrades that are not anticipated to produce significant environmental effects.