High Rock Lake News
September 22, 2016
In case you missed it, today with very little fanfare FERC issued a new 40 year license to operate Project 2197. This new license should incorporate all of the improvements and changes agreed to in the Relicensing Settlement Agreement negotiated over a 4 year period by representatives from SHRL and many other interest groups participating in the FERC Relicensing process.
This should clear the way for Alcoa to proceed with their proposal to sell Project 2197 to Cube Hydro Yadkin, LLC.
August 13, 2016
It looks like many of the relicensing participants may not quite be ready to sit by and allow Alcoa and Cube Yadkin to just sell the project and transfer the licensee for Project 2197 to a completely NEW company that has only been in existence for a couple of months without a challenge. You should read the comments of The State of NC, NC Dept. of Environmental Quality, NC Wildlife Resources, City of Salisbury, American Rivers and New Energy Capital Partners as well as the rebuttal by Cube Yadkin to their challenges . Lets hope FERC at least gives their questions and concerns for the "interests of the Public" as defined in the Federal Power Act the proper consideration instead of just blindly rubber stamping the request in the interest of BIG MONEY investor profits and the significant fees paid to FERC each year based on the energy produced by the licensee.
August 1, 2016
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice soliciting "Comments" and "Motions to Intervene" regarding the application of APGI to transfer the FERC License for Project 2197 to Cube Hydro Yadkin, LLC. (an affiliate of Cube Hydro Carolinas, LLC. which is an Affiliate of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC.). All of these recently formed PRIVATE Limited Liability Corporations (July 16, 2016 for Cybe Hydro Yadkin) are all apparently funded by I Squared Capital which is again a privately held LLC founded and managed by financial wizard Sadek Wahba who has obviously identified small independent hydro power generation facilities as an untapped source of huge financial gains for wealthy investors. The APGI application requesting approval for "Transfer of License, substitution of Applicant, and Request for Expedited Consideration attempts to identify this series of affiliated LLCs as experienced owners and operators of numerous hydro electric facilities but the list of facilities owned by the Cube Hydro group reveals 14 very small generation facilities which combined only equals a fraction of the capacity of project 2197. More importantly, nothing listed has a similar potential to impact an entire River Basin such as the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin covering 7221 square miles in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Application does state that Cube Hydro Yadkin would be substituted as the applicant in the still pending (8 years overdue) FERC License Application for Project 2197 and that they would be bound by the terms included in the Relicensing Settlement Agreement that was negotiated with the identified stakeholder groups during the relicensing process.
Throughout the Relicensing Settlement Negotiations for Project 2197 several of the stakeholder groups questioned the "entitlement" of Alcoa to continue as the future licensee of the project. In the past Alcoa had touted their Aluminum Smelting operations as providing a great financial benefit to communities surrounding the project to demonstrate the need/benefit to the general public in their past FERC license applications. Most of those positive benefits disappeared with the closing of the facilities and the discovery of numerous hazardous waste sites surrounding the plant and the resulting contamination of ground water supplies. Since Duke Power Co. generally has abundant generation capacity to service all of the communities surrounding the project and is regulated by the NC Utilities Commission, about the only positive benefit to the general public for allowing Alcoa to continue as the project licensee and operating as an unregulated power generator was the potential to use that license as leverage to force them into cleaning up their toxic waste sites surrounding the abandoned facilities. It appears this pending sale of Project 2197 to a group of private financial investors with virtually NO PUBLIC ACCOUNTING of sale price, their ongoing operations and subsequent windfall profits driven by the free use of NC natural resources could become another one of those "Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it" lessons in life.
If you wish to submit "Comments" or a "Motion to Intervene" in this process you have until August 30, 2016 to submit your documents to FERC as outlined in the notification referenced above.