WASHINGTON-DC The City of Angoon has a slight edge on developing a hydropower
project at Ruth Lake in Southeast Alaska.
Three cities, including Angoon, Petersburg, and Wrangell, filed applications for a preliminary permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. One of the items FERC considers when choosing a permit winner is who filed first – but FERC officials said all three applications were received at the same time because they were filed electronically on the first day possible. So, Wednesday morning in Washington, FERC’s Secretary of the
Commission, Kimberly Bose, drew a name at random.
The City of Angoon was drawn first, then the City of Petersburg, and finally, the City of Wrangell. FERC’s Deputy Associate General Counsel for Energy Projects, John Katz, says this does not mean Angoon has won the permit itself. According to Katz, Ferc first considers the merits the applications – whether any of the three is better adapted to developing the water way in the public interest. So, Katz said, the drawing was “a back-up in the event the commission is not able to make that determination.”
Katz could not yet say when it will determine who has won the
preliminary permit. And, he said, that permit is only the first step
in developing a project. It allows a person to investigate a projects feasibility and location. The three-year, exclusive permit also gives the holder a priority in applying for a development license from FERC.
FERC regulates non-federal hydroelectric projects all around the
country. This was the first time the Commission ever had to break a
tie. It expects to do so more often in the future due to the increase
in electronic filings.
In the audio included with this story, FERC Deputy Associate General Counsel John Katz explains how the Commission will use the drawing result.
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