Hydropower in the Upper Ohio River Basin: A Decade of Effort at Risk

by David F. Pritchard, Burgess & Niple Ltd, Columbus, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Energy in the 90's


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued licenses on September 27, 1989 for construction of 16 hydroelectric projects in the Upper Ohio River Basin after up to 8 years of preparatory effort by applicants and the commission. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) and several other environmental agencies and groups attempted to prevent issue of the licenses and have subsequently appealed the licenses in court. The projects have a total capacity of 358 megawatts (MW) with a value of annual power output of $100 to $125 million and a development cost in the range of $1 billion. The ongoing conflict places the projects at risk for development. The current status of this confused regulatory atmosphere is examined. Changes in regulations and procedures are needed and are proposed. Possible means of achieving such changes are discussed.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Hydro power | Rivers and streams | Basins | Risk management | Federal government | Fish management | Wildlife | Ohio River

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