Original licenses are currently restricted to newly constructed projects or existing projects that come under the Commission's jurisdiction. Licenses are for a 30- to 50-year period. A license conveys the right of eminent domain. The commission has three licensing processes.

A potential developer of hydroelectric project must file an application for license or exemption from licensing if the project is or will be:

  1. located on a navigable waterway of the U.S.;
  2. occupying U.S. lands;
  3. utilizing surplus water or water power from a U.S. government dam; or
  4. located on a body of water over which Congress has Commerce Clause jurisdiction, project construction occurred on or after August 26, 1935, and the project affects the interests of interstate or foreign commerce.

This page was last updated on January 27, 2022