Georgia Power gets new license for Flint River

Georgia Power will be able to operate its Flint River hydroelectric power plant for another 40 years, thanks to a new license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sept. 30, 1999.

The issuing of the license, which become effective Nov. 1, completes a four-year $1.4 million relicensing process for the 5,400 kilowatt plant.

Georgia Power utilized the Applicant Prepared Environmental Assessment (APEA) process for relicensing for only the second time in securing the Flint River license. The company was the first to ever use the alternative process when it relicensed Sinclair Dam in the mid-90s. FERC developed the APEA in an attempt to get stakeholders and licensees together to address issues in a collaborative manner early in the process.

In the APEA process, Georgia Power held a scoping meeting is 1995 to find out the concerns of the stakeholders, including issues identified by local, state and federal agencies. Very few issues were identified, but Georgia Power conducted several studies on cultural resources, recreation, fisheries, and environmental impacts in compiling its environmental assessment. Georgia Power will make some recreational improvements on the Flint River, such as installing fishing piers and providing better parking and restroom facilities, as part of the new license.

Allan Creamer, FERC’s project manager, and Patti Leppert-Slack, cultural resources and recreation specialist, were instrumental in facilitating the successful license process, according to Georgia Power officials.

“We are pleased to get the new license in a timely manner, well in advance of the current license expiring in 2001,” said Bill Mashburn. “Georgia Power will continue in its role as an environmental steward and recreation provider on the Flint River, while using this valuable resource to generate reliable electricity for Georgians.”