In certain cases, projects may qualify for an exemption from licensing. Those receiving an exemption are exempt from the requirements of Part I of the Federal Power Act. However, the exempted project is subject to mandatory terms and conditions set by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies and by the Commission, and do not convey the right of eminent domain. Getting an exemption can be a more simplified process than applying for a license. Exemptions are issued in perpetuity.
» Active Exemptions updated 2/19/2020
The Commission issues two types of exemptions:
- Small hydropower projects, which are 10 megawatts or less, that will be built at an existing dam, or projects that utilize a natural water feature for head or an existing project that has a capacity of 10 megawatts or less and proposes to increase capacity.
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- Conduit exemption that would be issued for constructing
a hydropower project on an existing conduit (for example
Conduit exemptions are authorized for generating capacities 40 megawatts or less. The conduit has to have been constructed
primarily for purposes other than power production.