Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District's project is the first Nebraska Project to earn LIHI certification
PORTLAND, MAINE – (December 19, 2008) —The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) announced that at their December 18th meeting the Governing Board voted unanimously to certify the Kingsley Dam Project (FERC No. 1417). The Kingsley Dam Project consists of dams, reservoirs, canals, and power plants located on the North Platte and Platte Rivers in Garden, Keith, Lincoln, Dawson, and Gosper Counties in south-central Nebraska.
The 3-mile long Kingsley Dam, on the North Platte River, impounds Lake McConaughy, which has a surface area of 30,500 acres and a maximum allowable storage capacity of 1,790,000 acre-feet. Kingsley Hydro, a 51.9-MW single-turbine hydroelectric plant, abuts Kingsley Dam and discharges to Lake Ogallala. The Central (or Tri-County) Diversion Dam, located 50 miles downstream of Kingsley Dam at the confluence of the North Platte and South Platte rivers, diverts Platte River flow into the 75-mile-long Supply Canal, which incorporates 27 dams and impoundments and three 18-MW hydroelectric power plants.
The Kingsley Dam Project meets LIHI's eight environmentally rigorous Low Impact criteria addressing river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether or not the dam itself has been recommended for removal. The Kingsley Dam Project successfully completed LIHI's application process, which includes a public comment period, review by an independent technical consultant or LIHI staff, consultations with state and federal natural resource agencies, and evaluation by the LIHI Governing Board, including leaders in the river conservation and renewable energy fields. The Board's vote to certify Kingsley Dam Project was unanimous.
The certification of the Kingsley Dam Project facility is valid for five years and will expire on May 22, 2013. During the time the Kingsley Dam Project is certified as low impact, CNPPID may market the Kingsley Dam Project facilities as a certified Low Impact Hydropower facility. Certification by the Institute also makes the power produced from the Kingsley Dam facility eligible for other "green" power programs.
Portland, Maine (May 22, 2008) – The Low Impact Hydropower Institute announced today that the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) submitted an application for LIHI certification for its Kingsley Dam Project (Project No. 1417). The Kingsley Dam Project consists of dams, reservoirs, canals, and powerplants located on the North Platte and Platte Rivers in Garden, Keith, Lincoln, Dawson, and Gosper Counties in south-central Nebraska.
The 3-mile long Kingsley Dam, on the North Platte River, impounds Lake McConaughy, which has a surface area of 30,500 acres and a maximum allowable storage capacity of 1,790,000 acre-feet. Kingsley Hydro, a 50-MW single-turbine hydroelectric plant, abuts Kingsley Dam and discharges to Lake Ogallala. The Central (or Tri-County) Diversion Dam, located 50 miles downstream of Kingsley Dam at the confluence of the North Platte and South Platte rivers, diverts Platte River flow into the 75-mile-long Supply Canal, which incorporates 27 dams and impoundments and three 20 to 22.5-MW hydroelectric powerplants (Jeffrey, Johnson No. 1, and Johnson No. 2).
The Kingsley Hydro Plant contains one 50,000-kW turbine and one 50,000-kW generator, with an installed capacity of 50,000 kW. The Jeffrey Hydro Plant contains two 10,440-kW turbines and two 10,800-kW generators, with a installed capacity of 20,880 kW. The Johnson No. 1 Hydro plant contains two 10,030-kW turbines and two 10,800-kW generators, with an installed capacity of 20,060 kW. The Johnson No. 2 Hydro plant contains one 22,960-kW turbine and one 22,500-kW generator, with an installed capacity of 22,500 kW. The total installed capacity of the project is 113,440 kW.
Today, the irrigation project provides multiple benefits: hydroelectric generation, groundwater recharge, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation.
The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) is a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, formed in 1933. Central's original purpose was to provide irrigation water to a region where rainfall was inadequate for consistent agricultural production. The hydroelectric powerplants at Jeffrey, Johnson Canyon No. 1 (J1), and Johnson Canyon No. 2 (J2) were included to make the project economically feasible. Not only did the project help develop one of the most successful and productive agricultural regions in the United States, the project's lakes and the canal which links them together proved a significant benefit to wildlife and created opportunities for water-based recreation where none previously existed. Today, the irrigation project provides multiple benefits: hydroelectric generation, groundwater recharge, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation.
A major addition to Central's project occurred in 1984 when the Kingsley Hydroplant was constructed at the outlet of Lake McConaughy to make use of the existing water releases and drop of up to 143 feet that occurs between Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala.
Central began the process of relicensing its project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 1984, which concluded with the issuance of a 40-year license in July of 1998. During the relicensing process, the United States Department of Interior and the states of Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming entered into a Cooperative Agreement to develop a long-term recovery program for threatened and endangered species habitat along the central Platte River. In May 1998, the parties to the license negotiations – including Central, the Nebraska Public Power District, the states of Colorado and Wyoming, the Nebraska Water Users, Inc., the Whooping Crane Habitat Maintenance Trust, National Audubon Society and the Department of the Interior – entered into a settlement agreement on wildlife and habitat issues and proposed operating conditions for the hydroelectric project. Terms of the settlement were used by FERC staff to complete the final Environmental Impact Statement and licensing order.
A unique condition within the settlement is the Environmental Account, a block of water set aside in Lake McConaughy dedicated to be used for fish and wildlife purposes. This Environmental Account is funded by 10% of the storable inflows to Lake McConaughy with a cap of 200,000 acre-feet. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) employs a manager who controls the release of this water for the protection of endangered and threatened species on the Platte River downstream.
During 2000 to 2003, Central repowered the Jeffrey, J1, and J2 hydro plants to improve the efficiency of the units and to maintain the high reliability expected of the hydroplants. These units now utilize greaseless bushings throughout the wicket gates and turbine pit to ensure that contaminants are not added to the water.
The J-2 Hydrocycling Agreement went into effect in August 2007 to address various USFWS concerns regarding the impact that cycling may be having on listed species and their habitat. This was the latest settlement Central has executed to address concerns about endangered and threatened species.
Facility Owner: Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central)
Facility Location: North Platte and Platte Rivers in Garden, Keith, Lincoln, Dawson, and Gosper Counties in south-central Nebraska
Installed Capacity: 105.9 Megawatts (MW)
Annual Generation: 321,873 net Mwh
Regulatory Status: Current FERC License Issued July 29, 1998 expires July 29, 2038
Public Comment Period: May 22, 2008 through July 22, 2008
A 60-day public comment period for the Kingsley Dam Project runs from May 22 to July 22, 2008. We encourage public comment on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Project meet the LIHI criteria. Review our program and criteria (click on the "LIHI Certification Program" to the left), and then review the detailed information on the Project. Comments that are directly tied to specific LIHI criteria (flows, water quality, fish passage, etc) will be most helpful, but all comments will be considered.
Comments may be submitted to the Institute by e-mail at email@example.com with the Project name in the subject line; by fax at (206) 984-3086; or by mail addressed to LIHI, 34 Providence Street, Portland, ME 04103. Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm pacific time on July 22, 2008 to be considered. All comments will be posted to the web site and the Applicant will have an opportunity to respond. Any response will also be posted. Further details, including a copy of the Kingsley Dam LIHI application, can be found on the Institute's web site, at http://www.lowimpacthydro.org
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