Low Impact Hydropower, a Pathway to Green Markets

Low Impact Hydropower, a Pathway to Green Markets

Hydroelectric power provides a significant percent of US electric generating capacity and does so without contributing to air pollution. However some hydropower dams have a history of adverse impacts to aquatic ecosystems, including the fish, wildlife, and human communities that depend on them. The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has established a voluntary certification system that allows hydropower entry into green power markets. LIHI certification is the standard Green-e uses for the eligibility of hydropower into the voluntary marketplace. It is also the basis for hydropower entry into several state renewable energy markets. This hour-long webinar explains the requirements for hydroelectric facility owners interested in joining the LIHI program and how owners are benefiting from LIHI certification.

Panelists included Mike Sale, LIHI Executive Director; Dana Hall, LIHI Deputy Director; and Sarah Hill-Nelson, owner of the Bowersock Mills & Power Company in Lawrence, KS.

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Center for Resource Solutions

February 13, 2014
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Transcript

  1. 1.
  2. 2.

    Outline 1.  Green-e and Low-Impact Hydropower (Jeff Swenerton) 2.  Hydropower

    and LIHI (Mike Sale) 3.  Green Energy Markets (Dana Hall) 4.  Owner’s Perspective (Sarah Hill-Nelson) 5.  Q&A
  3. 3.
  4. 4.

    Green-e Requirements for Hydro 1.  LIHI certification required in the

    U.S. 2.  No new impoundments 3.  10MW (nameplate capacity) cap on repowering
  5. 6.

    “The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3)

    organization dedicated to reducing the impacts of hydropower generation through the voluntary certification of hydropower projects that have avoided or reduced their environmental impacts.” www.lowimpacthydro.org
  6. 7.

    LIHI was conceived in 1998 •  Initial leadership from CRS,

    Green Mountain Power, and environmental NGOs (see Grimm, 2002, below) •  Our Goal -- create an independent, objective, and transparent source of information about hydropower and consumer choices in green energy markets •  Our Strategy -- provide a market incentive to reduce the impacts of hydropower generation •  Our Vision -- achieve dual goals: –  Environmental quality and investment in rivers –  Enable more clean, renewable electricity Lydia Grimm on LIHI Formation, 2002 http://alturl.com/cxrc4
  7. 8.

    Why was this new approach needed for hydropower? •  Hydropower

    has a long, successful history of electricity generation, BUT…. •  It also has had a mixed history of environmental performance: –  Flow modification below dams –  Blockage and mortality of migrating fish and wildlife –  Adverse changes in water quality –  Flooding of riparian ecosystems •  All hydropower issues are site-specific •  There are very real opportunities for avoiding adverse impacts – not all hydropower is “bad” •  Project size is not an adequate indicator of impacts – more information is need to distinguish among projects
  8. 9.

    LIHI is the combination of Board, Staff, and Advisors LIHI

    Staff Mike Sale, ED Dana Hall, DD LIHI Governing Board President, Secretary, Treasurer, members Revenue Committee Management Committee Technical Committee Industry Advisors Subcontractors Reviewers Accountant Admin. Support Renewable Markets Advisors
  9. 10.

    LIHI governance includes a diversity of perspectives Richard Roos-Collins, Water

    & Power Law Group Steve Malloch, Independent Consultant Dana Hall, Attorney Mike Sale, Independent Consultant Ken Kimball, Appalachian Mountain Club John Seebach, American Rivers Vicki Taylor, Catawba-Wateree Relicensing Coalition Laura Wisland, Union of Concerned Scientists Pierre Bull, Natural Resources Defense Council Jack Palmer, Kleinschmidt/retired Glenn Cada, ORNL/retired Tara Moberg, The Nature Conservancy GOVERNING BOARD > 50% environmental NGOs
  10. 11.

    The original certification approach has changed little •  Existing facilities

    and incremental new development at existing dams are eligible •  Facilities recommended for dam removal are not eligible •  Seven criteria must be satisfied: –  Flows –  Water quality –  Fish passage and protection –  Watershed protection –  Protection of threatened and endangered species –  Cultural resource protection –  Recreational resource protection
  11. 12.

    Our certification process involves multiple steps •  Intake Review –

    informal consultation to assist in preparation of the full application •  Formal Application – reviewer evaluation of Questionnaire, public comment period, and recommendation to Board •  Certification Decision – Governing Board action or delegated to Exec. Dir./Tech. Comm. •  Annual Reporting – status check on any special conditions, plus annual fee payment •  Recertification – re-examination of all criteria after 5 to 8 years, including public comments
  12. 13.

    Current certification fees are modest •  Intake fee = flat

    fee to cover consultation time •  Application fee = fixed fee plus variable rates –  Fixed fee covers reviewer time plus administrative costs –  Variable rate is a function of annual generation •  Annual fee = percentage of application fee •  Recertification fee = percentage of application fee, plus additional cost if major changes have occurred •  All fees subject to change after Program Review has been completed (~mid-2014)
  13. 14.

    LIHI is now a nationwide program To date, we have:

    113 facilities certified, at ~170 dams, in 28 states. The total capacity of LIHI-certified hydropower projects is 4.4 GW.
  14. 15.

    The future for hydro looks bright •  Advanced technologies will

    become cost-competitive, to improve energy and environmental performance:  Aerating turbines to improve downstream water quality  Fish-friendly turbines to reduce/eliminate mortality of fish passing through turbines  Optimized environmental flow requirements for downstream aquatic habitat •  Opportunities to grow hydropower may be realized: NOTE: actual new development will depend on economic competitiveness versus alternatives and on policies and regulations.
  15. 17.

    Renewable Energy Policy In the US today… •  Renewable Portfolio

    Standards •  Voluntary Green Power Purchasing •  Public Benefit Funds •  Net Metering •  Federal Tax Credit Programs Low impact hydropower is useful in some but not all of these policies…
  16. 19.

    Renewable Portfolio Standard Policies Database of State Incentives for Renewables

    and Efficiency www.dsireusa.org / March 2013. 29 states,+ Washington DC and 2 territories,have Renewable Portfolio Standards (8 states and 2 territories have renewable portfolio goals).
  17. 20.

    Renewable Portfolio Standards and Hydropower •  Most RPS allow “small”

    hydro (under 30MW) •  Distinguish by age, capacity/size, vintage, or technology. •  12 States impose environmental criteria for hydroelectric eligibility AZ, CA, CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, and PA. http://www.cleanenergystates.org/assets/2013-Files/RPS/Environmental-Rules-for- Hydropower-in-State-RPS-April-2013-final.pdf
  18. 21.

    State Environmental Restrictions on Hydropower RPS Eligibility •  Prohibitions of

    new impoundments or diversions •  only incremental production increases or efficiency gains •  Environmental protections for: – Adequate water flow – Fish passage – Water quality – Watershed protection http://www.cleanenergystates.org/assets/2013-Files/RPS/Environmental-Rules-for- Hydropower-in-State-RPS-April-2013-final.pdf
  19. 23.

    Massachusetts RPS •  Class I – New facilities up to

    30 MW or incremental new generation or efficiency gains up to 25 MW – began commercial operation after 12/31/97 – REC prices approx $60/REC •  Class II – Existing hydro up to 7.5 MW – in commercial operation before 12/31/97 – REC prices approx $25/REC
  20. 24.

    Green Power Purchasing Options for LIHI Certified Hydro •  REC

    contracts with green power marketers or project developers –  LIHI Certified Projects may enter into bilateral agreements to sell their RECs •  Utility Green Power Pricing programs –  LIHI Certified Projects may sell power to a utility to include in a green pricing program •  Community Aggregation –  LIHI Certified Projects may respond to RFPs for aggregation groups looking for green power
  21. 25.

    Green Power Purchasing •  Leading US certification program for renewable

    energy •  Provides oversight for voluntary renewable energy transactions •  Prevents double counting •  Code of Conduct and Customer Disclosure Requirements
  22. 26.

    LIHI Value Statement LIHI offers value to all stakeholders:  

    Revenue streams for certificate holders   Investments in rivers to NGOs   Verifiability of green source to purchasers   Accountability for RPS programs
  23. 30.

    Hydro – The History and Future of Energy in Kansas

    1st Bowersock-related Company to take power from the dam
  24. 31.

      The largest, oldest, and only major hydro plant in

    Kansas - 1905   Certified “Low Impact” in 2005   South Powerhouse – 2.35 MW 2300 cfs   Offtaker – KCK Board of Public Utilities   City of Lawrence maintains dam, which pools water for over 50% of daily water supply for the City – Public/Private partnership   Median Water Flow in the Kansas River – 3400 cfs   Significant quantities of unused water – potential for additional powerhouse South Powerhouse Structure Circa 1905 – More energy today than ever in its history.
  25. 32.

    North Plant Project A long time coming… •  1924 –

    Present –  Blueprints from 1924 found in files at the Army Corps of Engineers
  26. 34.

    What worked from a local perspective.   Site Selection –

    Incremental Hydro   The BMPC expansion makes sense – existing dam used for city water supply   Limited Additional Footprint   Community & environmental group support – current climate is good   LIHI Certification   Had recently worked with all the agencies and NGOs   They knew BMPC, I knew all the key individuals   Official thumbs up that BMPC was being a good steward of the river   Community Involvement   BMPC – long history with the Lawrence community   Chamber, Environmental Groups, Neighborhoods… got everyone involved EARLY   City of Lawrence – Worked with almost every City department. Very responsive, esp. Legal, Planning and Public Works.   City of Lawrence helped BMPC navigate the system.   Keeping it Close To Home – We have the talent & resources here.   Key team members – local. We have everything we need here – a lesson learned – no need to go to Chicago.   Landmark National Bank, Stevens & Brand, Gilmore & Bell, Lowenthal, Webb & Odermann (MizeHouser)   Overall a remarkably smooth process – permitting delays at back end
  27. 36.

    Hydroelectric Energy Potential for U.S. “In our estimates we have

    about 70 GW of additional hydro which would have minimal impact; and so where does this come from? It comes from putting in better turbines in existing dams, it comes from run-of-the-river turbines that don't create the minimal environmental impact and it comes from using water storage that was made for flood control and then as you let that water out, it generates small electricity with it. The fact is, its 70 GW and 96 GW today of hydro, so it's nearly double. Seventy GW is 70 nuclear power plants, maybe 100 new coal plants. If you look at the economics of hydro, it's far less than any of those. So it's one of the best kept secrets.” Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu September, 2009
  28. 38.

    Thank You for Listening! Mike Sale, Executive Director mjsale@lowimpacthydro.org Dana

    Hall , LIHI Deputy Director dhall@lowimpacthydro.org Sarah Hill-Nelson shn@bowersockpower.com For more information, see www.lowimpacthydro.org
  29. 39.
  30. 40.

    Upcoming Webinars Renewable Energy 101 Thursday, March 6, 2014 LEED

    v4 and the Green Power Point Thursday, April 10, 2014 Introduction to Green-e Climate Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Register at www.resource-solutions.org/events
  31. 41.

    Contact Mike Sale LIHI Executive Director mjsale@lowimpacthydro.org Dana Hall LIHI

    Deputy Director dhall@lowimpacthydro.org Sarah Hill-Nelson Bowersock Mills and Power Company Lawrence, Kansas shn@bowersockpower.com Jeff Swenerton Center for Resource Solutions jeff@resource-solutions.org
  32. 42.

    Massachusetts Statute MGL c. 25A, s. 11F (c) (6) RPS

    Class I list of eligible resources (i)  each such new facility or increased capacity or efficiency at each such existing facility must meet appropriate and site-specific standards that address adequate and healthy river flows, water quality standards, fish passage and protection measures and mitigation and enhancement opportunities in the impacted watershed as determined by the department in consultation with relevant state and federal agencies having oversight and jurisdiction over hydropower facilities; RPS Class II list of eligible resources (i)  energy generated by existing hydroelectric facilities, provided that such existing facility shall meet appropriate and site-specific standards that address adequate and healthy river flows, water quality standards, fish passage and protection measures and mitigation and enhancement opportunities in the impacted watershed as determined by the department in consultation with relevant state and federal agencies having oversight and jurisdiction over hydropower facilities;
  33. 43.

    Massachusetts RPS REGULATIONS 225 CMR 14.00 - RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO

    STANDARD Eligibility Criteria for ... Hydroelectric ... Generation Units 225 CMR 14.05(1)(a)6.d.i: LIHI Certification of the Unit… –  DOER can request additional information from the Agencies or Applicant IF: •  a Relevant Hydroelectric Agency identified an environmental concern and a proposed remedy to LIHI during the LIHI certification process, and such concern was not addressed in the LIHI certification to the satisfaction of the Agency •  between issuance of the LIHI certification and the Department’s determination of the Unit’s eligibility, a Relevant Hydroelectric Agency submits to the Department evidence of a significant environmental problem not previously known by such Agency –  A denial of certification from LIHI specifying the reasons the certification was denied and the applicant’s proposed rationale for why the project should nevertheless receive a Statement of Qualification. In this instance, the Department shall notify and seek input from the Relevant Hydroelectric Agencies, which shall have 30 days from the date of their receipt of such notification to provide feedback to the Department
  34. 45.

    Massachusetts RPS Application Procedure 1.  Apply for LIHI certification. 2. 

    When LIHI certificate is granted (or when confident of pending LIHI certification): go to DOER’s SQA page, identify and link to the relevant Class (I or II), 3.  read that page and follow the link to DOER’s new (since January 2014) Web-based SQA, 4.  register, log-in, and complete the SQA, 5.  send all relevant attachments by email to doer.rps@state.ma.us, and 6.  mail the relevant signed/notarized SQA certificates to DOER.
  35. 46.

    Massachusetts RPS Agency Notification Requirements 1.  When LIHI certification has

    been issued, whether before or after SQA submitted, notify Relevant Hydro Agencies (see definition) of SQA submission and give them 30 days in which to either comment or state intention not to comment, with comments/intent to be sent to doer.rps@state.ma.us and to applicant. 2.  IF LIHI certificate was not yet issued, then either wait until then to notify Agencies or re-notify them when issued, provide link to Certification, and then give the 30 day time limit.
  36. 49.

    H.R. 267: Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act! H.R. 678: Bureau of

    Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act! Signed into law August 13, 2013!