FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur will leave the agency at the end of August after serving since 2010. Although her current five-year term expired June 30, commissioners may continue serving after term expiration until a successor has been seated. Once she leaves, FERC will be down to three members, the minimum for a quorum. President Donald Trump has not yet nominated a commissioner to fill the vacancy created by Kevin McIntyre’s death earlier this year.
Puget Sound Energy’s board of directors has tapped El Paso Electric leader Mary Kipp to succeed Kimberly Harris as president, effective Aug. 30. Kipp will take on the additional role of CEO upon Harris’ retirement in January, the board said in a July 1 statement.
FERC has agreed to consult with the Yurok Tribe over the proposed license transfer and removal of four Klamath River dams. The license would be transferred from PacifiCorp to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, which would then remove the dams and surrender the license. FERC agreed June 25 to hold a teleconference with the tribe on July 9 on the transfer that will be open to the public, but closed for a portion if locations of archaeological sites will be discussed.
FERC on July 2 gave itself another 30 days to decide whether to revisit its decision to grant the Eagle Mountain pumped storage project two-year extensions of its construction deadlines (WPW No. 13 ). The 1.3 GW facility is proposed for a site in Riverside County, Calif., near Joshua Tree National Park [P-13123]. Project opponents Desert Protection Society and National Park Protection Association filed the rehearing request, asserting the extensions were illegal be-cause the clock had run out on the license. “Eventually FERC will get around to ruling on our re-hearing request,” NPPA attorney Deborah Sivas told Water Power West. “At that point, if it denies or partially denies the motion, we can go to court.”
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $200,000 to two Northwest companies to help them demonstrate the feasibility of their hydrokinetic concepts. Blade Runner Energy uses an instream rotor to drive a generator mounted on a floating platform with battery storage, and Oscilla combines a wave-energy converter with compressed air energy storage.