The purpose of the proposed Igiugig Project is two-fold: (1) to evaluate the technical, economic, and environmental viability of Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC’s) design and the energy generation potential at the proposed project site in the Kvichak River; and (2) to provide a new source of hydroelectric power. Therefore, under the provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission must decide whether to issue a license to the IVC for the project and what conditions should be placed on any license issued. In deciding whether to issue a license for a hydroelectric project, the Commission must determine that the project would be best adapted to a comprehensive plan for improving or developing a waterway. In addition to the power and developmental purposes for which licenses are issued (such as flood control, irrigation, or water supply), the Commission must give equal consideration to the purposes of: (1) energy conservation; (2) the protection of, mitigation of damage to, and 8 enhancement of, fish and wildlife resources; (3) the protection of recreational opportunities; and (4) the preservation of other aspects of environmental quality.
Issuing a pilot project license for the Igiugig Project would allow the IVC to generate electricity during its proposed 10-year license term, making electrical power from a renewable resource available to its customers. IVC’s proposed monitoring programs would also provide important information on any unanticipated environmental effects of such riverine hydrokinetic energy developments, which could assist with the evaluation of similar projects.
This environmental assessment (EA) evaluates the environmental and economic effects of constructing and operating the proposed project: (1) as proposed by the applicant, and (2) with staff’s recommended measures. Staff also considers the effects of the no-action alternative. The primary issues that are addressed include potential effects on fisheries resources, navigation, and cultural resources.