Packwood Hydroelectric Relicensing

Natural Resources
Licensing/relicensing, Alternatives analysis/feasibility study, Conceptual design, Engineering services, Final design, Environmental/permitting
Professional services
Packwood, Washington
Energy Northwest
why it matters

Energy Northwest was one of the first seven applicants in the country to undertake Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) to relicense its facility in Packwood, Washington. This 27.5 MW hydroelectric project involved guiding the client through their entire relicensing undertaking by managing all aspects of the regulatory, natural resources, and engineering efforts. By being one of the first firms to go through the ILP process, McMillen assisted in developing the most efficient way to navigate it.

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McMillen served as Energy Northwest’s consulting project management team for the Packwood Hydroelectric Relicensing project from 2004 to 2010. Our team was retained in advance of the Pre-Application Document (PAD) development to assist and advise in shaping an efficient and cost-effective relicensing strategy. We performed work for the FERC relicensing process as follows:

• Internal strategic plan development and early issue identification

• Agency consultation and meeting facilitation

• Study scoping and program development

• Permit application development for all-natural resource study efforts

• Implementation and management of natural resource studies (fisheries, water quality, terrestrial, cultural,

recreation, and visual)

• Data analysis and study report development

• Data result presentations and consultation with agencies

• Agency negotiations related to the development of license terms and conditions

• Development of all regulatory and natural resource-specific documents

• Consistent and direct interaction with FERC and state, federal, and tribal licensing participants (LP’s)

• Management of all technically specific subconsultants

Upon completion and associated analysis of the robust two-year study program, McMillen was tasked with leading negotiation efforts with all LP’s related to new license articles. A substantive effort was made to create a transparent and collaborative work group. This effort was highly successful and ultimately resulted in a set of mandatory license conditions acceptable to Energy Northwest, satisfying the natural resource concerns of the LP’s. Based on our strategically sound approach, Energy Northwest also awarded McMillen the management of all compliance and implementation efforts associated with their new 40-year operating license.

Our team also has been responsible for dam safety and engineering services including a FERC Part 12D inspection and reports, an inundation study, Emergency Action Planning (EAP), and a Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA). Engineering services include concept and final design on a restoration project and exclusion net and hydrology and hydraulic analysis.

“Energy Northwest’s overall experience with McMillen has been very positive and, to date, very successful in working with all of the state and federal agencies. There are challenges with working with all of the agencies that the McMillen team has taken on or provided good counsel to Energy Northwest on direction and plans. Energy Northwest has recommended the McMillen team to support other project owners with their license renewal process and implementation.”

Ken Williams

Hydro Projects Supervisor, Energy Northwest

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