RAPID/Hydropower/Pennsylvania/Power Plant

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Pennsylvania Hydropower Facility Licensing, Certification, Safety, & Regulation(7-PA)

In Pennsylvania, a developer may have to obtain a Limited Power Permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in order to construct a project that uses water to produce electrical power.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Small Hydropower Program: Pennsylvania does not currently have a small hydropower program.
Renewable Portfolio Standard Process (RPS): Pennsylvania requires each electric distribution company and electric distribution supplier to supply 19% of its electricity using alternative-energy resources by 2020 with annual benchmarks for percentages pertaining to specific renewable technologies.73 Pa. Stat. § 1648.1.
RPS Eligible: Low-impact hydropower and large-scale hydropower qualify as alternative energy sources under Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards. 73 Pa. Stat. § 1648.7. Large-scale hydropower is the "production of electric power by harnessing the hydroelectric potential of moving water impoundments," including pumped storage. Low-impact hydropower does not include pumped storage and must have a FERC licensed capacity of 21 MW or less, or be an "incremental hydroelectric development" meeting various certification and state environmental standards. 73 Pa. Stat. § 1648.7.
RPS Regulatory Agency: PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS)

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