Pelzer Hydro files new license application

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By Stan Welch
A new application filed jointly by Pelzer Hydro Company, LLC and Consolidated Hydro Southeast, LLC has been accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and is now available for public viewing and comment.
The project is operated on a run of the river mode, with no useable storage or flood control capacity. Flows of 159 cubic feet per second(cfs) and 1200 cfs are used to generate power, while flows above 1200 cfs are passed over the spillway. There are no minimum required rates of flow downstream of the dam.
The installed capacity for the three generators is 1950 kilowatts. The project annually generates 6223 megawatt hours, which it sells to a local utility.
The proposed application states that the co-licensees “propose to operate and maintain the upper Pelzer Project as is required in the existing license and to develop canoe portage facilities.” (Emphasis added) The application also reflects the co-licensees intentions to maintain a constant release of 15 cfs or inflow, whichever is less, from a new weir on the spillway crest to maintain aquatic life and water quality.
Efforts to contact representatives of Enel Green Power North America Inc, the listed contact on the application, for comment were unsuccessful, but the addition of a portage and the increased flow appear to be related to recently announced plans for the development of the lower mill site, as well as supporting increasing interest in the Saluda River as a means of recreation and tourism.
To view the application, go to http://www.ferc.gov. The project number is 10254-026.