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Posted 2/26/2015

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Updated September 2017


Location/Description
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued license 11175 to Crown Hydro, LLC, in 1999 which granted it the exclusive rights to develop a hydropower facility in the Mill Ruins Park area on the Mississippi River near Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Crown Hydro Project was originally proposed to be located in the Crown Roller Building and then, later, on Minneapolis park land. Crown Hydro was unable to secure the needed real estate agreements with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. In 2013, Crown Hydro proposed locating the project on Corps-managed Government land at Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. The total 3.4-megawatt estimated capacity would be enough to provide power to more than 2,300 households.

Background
The project is located in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The FERC license requires the licensee to determine impacts on the historic district. Many parties are competing for use of the river flows above St. Anthony Falls, including the existing hydropower plant operated by Xcel Energy and other aesthetic and historic interests.

Status

Crown Hydro submitted a draft license amendment on April 30, 2015.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental assessment on September 2, 2016.  As of August 2017, FERC had not yet issued the license amendment.  The licensee has started developing a programmatic agreement for the protection of historic properties.    If licensed, the licensee’s design must be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to starting construction.

Pertinent correspondence, filings and meeting transcripts are posted on the FERC eLibrary under docket number P-11175 (http://elibrary.ferc.gov).


Authority
Licensing by FERC of hydropower facilities is governed by Part I of the Federal Power Act, 16 USC 791(a) – 825(r). Coordination between the FERC and the Corps regarding FERC licensing of hydropower at Corps facilities is also governed by a March 30, 2011, memorandum of agreement between the agencies.

Fiscal
A fixed amount, generally $7,000 per year, is funded under the “Investigations” account for FERC-related administrative activities and permit review. Activities such as pre-licensing, coordination during construction and relicensing are funded under the “Operation and Maintenance” program, and these costs are reimbursed by the licensee to the U.S. Treasury through annual charges by FERC.

Crown Hydro Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC hydropower St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers