The House unanimously approved a bill 422-0 Wednesday that would remove barriers for small hydropower development and could eventually expedite permitting for other hydropower projects.
The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, H.R. 267, would exempt “conduits,” such as canals, aqueducts and tunnels, from the federal licensing process. It also would let hydropower projects that generate 10,000 kilowatts of power avoid licensing procedures, compared with the current 5,000-kilowatt limit.
It also would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct a feasibility study on imposing a two-year cap hydropower permitting, which supporters say could unleash significant investment.