Hydropower Licensing and Regulation

With the enactment of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, the executive branch amassed broader-than-ever authority over the licensing and regulation of hydropower projects. Troutman Sanders has had a significant hydropower practice for decades and we are well equipped to help clients navigate federal hydropower regulations. We assist clients with the complex process of relicensing, from initial scoping to preparing license applications and negotiating with federal, tribal, and state resource agencies, as well as other stakeholders. We also help clients manage every aspect of their projects, providing counsel on license compliance matters relating to natural resources, recreation, safety and other regulatory issues.

Our hydropower practice is an integral part of the firm’s Environmental and Natural Resources section as well as the Energy section. We work in all facets of the electric power industry and in the hydropower related areas of NEPA, Clean Water Act regulation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulation, endangered species, coastal zone management, historic preservation law, public lands management, and water resource development. We also have water quality and water supply expertise.

Representative Experience

  • Represented numerous private and municipal applicants in original, amendment and relicensing proceedings resulting in favorable license terms with very little loss of generation.
  • Represented the first utility to use FERC’s Integrated Licensing Process, including participation in the first formal study plan dispute resolution process.
  • Represented a large utility in successful completion of the first relicensing under FERC’s Alternative Licensing Process.
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