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Hydropower Efficiency Act of 2013 signed into law by President Obama

On August 9, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (H.R. 267) and the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 678) were signed into law by President Obama.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed the bill on January 15, 2013, which was just introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

The bill, H.R. 267, will significantly improve the use of hydropower by water, wastewater and industrial water operations, waiving the license requirements for any non-federally-owned conduit that has a maximum installed capacity of 5 megawatts. The bill further redefines "conduit" to specify any tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar man-made water conveyance operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity.

Further, the new law would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to exempt any electric power generation facility that utilizes only the hydroelectric potential of a conduit for generation, for requirement of a license. This applies to all facilities with an installed capacity of 40 megawatts or fewer.


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