FERC urges Edgartown to complete tidal project application

Edgartown (Photo: flickr/Bill Brine)

US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has set the deadline for the Edgartown authorities, the proponents of the Muskeget Channel tidal project, to file a schedule that will specify when the outstanding items to complete the project application will be submitted to FERC.

In 2011, the town of Edgartown filed, pursuant to the Commission’s pilot licensing procedures, a draft license application for the proposed Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project.

Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project would consist of 14 tidal energy turbines, with the combined capacity of 5 MW, which would be located off Massachusetts, between the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Later that year, the Commission asked Edgartown to provide additional information, including details about the proposed project and multiple plans, drawings, and reports, which the town subsequently did in 2012 by filing some of the information requested by the FERC.

In response, FERC issued a letter in 2013 setting the deadline at March 31, 2014, for Edgartown to file the remaining information.

Edgartown failed to provide the information or schedule indicating when the information would be filed after the deadline was missed, which resulted in FERC issuing another letter on April 21, 2016, requiring Edgartown to show cause, within 30 days, why Commission staff should not terminate the prefiling licensing process for the project.

FERC did not receive response from Edgartown authorities, but instead, was sent a letter by Massachusetts Congressman William Keating, asking the Commission to extend the deadline until the Massachusetts Clean Energy Commission decided on a funding application Edgartown filed for the completion of studies.

According to FERC, the information provided by Congressman Keating indicates that Edgartown is seeking funding for environmental studies, but, there is no information in the record to determine when the grant process will be completed, when the environmental studies will be conducted and the results filed with the Commission, or when the other information that does not appear to be linked to the determination on the grant will be filed with the Commission.

Therefore, FERC directed Edgartown to provide a schedule specifying when it will file with the Commission each of the outstanding items requested in Commission staff’s April 1, 2011 letter, by July 2, 2016.

“To ensure the information in the record is current, Edgartown must review its draft application and any other information it has filed in the record and provide any necessary updates or provide descriptions of the information that must be updated and a schedule for providing the information,” FERC said in a June 2, 2016 letter.

Upon receiving the information, Commission staff will make a determination on how to proceed with the incomplete application for the Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project, FERC informed.

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