15 Jul 2021

HydroLand Acquires Hydroelectric Facilities

15 Jul 2021  by Energy Global   

HydroLand has announced it has acquired two hydroelectric facilities from Northbrook Carolina Hydro II, LLC.

"Since our acquisition of the Enel portfolio, we have been executing our plan to modernise and upgrade acquired hydroelectric facilities while building our portfolio with new acquisitions," said Cory Lagerstrom, CEO of HydroLand. "These two North Carolina facilities are excellent additions to our hydro-upgrading programme. We are excited about what we are building and look forward to sharing more as we grow."

The two facilities acquired from Northbrook are the Bryson Hydroelectric Project and Franklin Hydroelectric Project, each a 1 MW run-of-river facility previously owned by Duke Energy Corp and have undergone major upgrades.

Run-of-river hydroelectric plants are small when compared to large scale hydroelectric facilities. The age of these facilities – some of which are 70 years old – provide the opportunity to dramatically improve their power generating capacity and efficiency.

Through a disciplined engineering and environmentally friendly approach, HydroLand is restoring and improving these facilities to deliver modern, state-of-the art electric generation for the grid. These latest acquisitions are one of many more to come that will allow HydroLand to ultimately create green energy parks across America.

The facilities

The Bryson facility is located on Lake Ela on the Oconaluftee River in Bryson City in Swain County, North Carolina, US. The facility was constructed in 1924 and has a nameplate and generating capacity of 0.98 MW.

Under Duke's ownership, investments totalled approximately US$6.5 million in capital since receiving its 30-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license in 2011. Notable major repairs and replacements include new turbine runners, new spillway Tainter gates with gate house, new turbine generator controls, upgraded turbine governors, new trash racks, upgraded hydraulic power units (HPUs), new breakers and relays, and both GE generators have been rewound since the early 1990s. Bryson is subject to a FERC hydropower license issued on 1 July 1 2011 for 30 years, expiring on 30 June 2041.

The Franklin facility, sited on the Little Tennessee River at Lake Emory in Franklin in Macon County, North Carolina was constructed in 1925 with a nameplate and operating capacity of 1.04 MW. The expected capacity factor is 50%, generating 4582 MWh/yr. The facility is deemed low hazard by FERC.

Since relicensing in 2011, Duke invested approximately US$10 million in capital to replace the six tainter gates, gate hoists, relays, wicket gates, HPUs, generator field poles, headgates, trash racks, powerhouse crane, unit governors, and unit programmable logic controllers. Major maintenance improvements include new electrical wiring throughout, new roll up doors, upgraded emergency generators and compressors, new windows, new metering, and a new log boom.

FERC conducted the last dam safety inspection on 5 July 2016 and did not document any conditions that would adversely affect the safety and performance of the project works. Franklin is subject to a FERC hydropower license issued on 1 September 2011 for 30 years, expiring on 31 August 2041.

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