Relicensing of Niagara River Hydropwer System

TRC guided the relicensing effort for New York State’s largest electric generating facility.



New York Power Authority

Project Location

New York

The Niagara Power Plant is New York State’s largest electric generating facility and one of the largest in the United States. The project generates, on average, 14.0 billion kWh/yr which is sold to municipally-owned electric systems and rural electric cooperatives throughout New York State, to Western New York businesses, to neighboring states under federal requirements, and to three upstate private utilities.

The project consists of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant, and the 1,900-acre Lewiston Reservoir. The Project takes in water from the upper Niagara River and discharges it back to the lower Niagara River. Niagara Falls is situated between the upper river intakes and the discharge of the Project to the lower river. Operation of the Project is regulated by FERC and the International Joint Commission, pursuant to international treaties with Canada. The treaties require 100,000 cfs of water to be released over Niagara Falls during the tourist season, and 50,000 cfs at all other times.

TRC teamed with two other consulting firms and was involved with virtually every aspect of the relicensing effort which utilized the Commission’s Alternative Licensing Procedures. Working cooperatively, TRC leveraged its extensive experience with hydroelectric licensing to help guide the team’s work. TRC assisted the Power Authority in obtaining a new license for the Niagara Power Project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

TRC’s responsibilities included:

  • Project management and strategic planning
  • Development of draft and final Application for License
  • Applicant-prepared Environmental Assessment
  • Rare, threatened, and endangered species investigations
  • Cultural resource and historic property investigations
  • Botanical/wildlife studies
  • Socioeconomic studies
  • Recreation resource and land management planning

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