Summary: H.R.3680 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3680. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (12/15/2011)

Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2011 - Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to increase from 5,000 to 10,000 kilowatts the size of small hydroelectric power projects which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may exempt from its license requirements.

Amends the Federal Power Act to revise the limitation on the maximum installation capacity of conduit hydroelectric facilities that are eligible for an exemption from licensing requirements.

Waives license requirements for any conduit hydroelectric facility that: (1) uses only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit, (2) has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts, and (3) is not currently licensed or exempted from license requirements.

Redefines "conduit" to specify any tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity.

Authorizes FERC to: (1) grant an exemption from license requirements only to conduit hydroelectric facilities on non-federal land that have an installed capacity not exceeding 40 megawatts, and (2) extend the term of a preliminary permit once for up to 2 additional years if it finds that the permittee has carried out activities in good faith and with reasonable diligence.

Directs FERC to: (1) investigate the feasibility of the issuance of a license for hydropower development at nonpowered dams and closed loop pumped storage projects during a two-year period, and (2) hold workshops and develop hydropower pilot projects.

Directs the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to study: (1) the potential megawatts of hydropower that may be obtained from U.S. conduits; and (2) land well-suited for pumped storage sites and located near existing or potential sites of intermittent renewable resource development, such as wind farms.

Directs the President to report to certain congressional committees on actions taken by DOE to implement the memorandum of understanding on hydropower entered into on March 24, 2010.