Regulatory Requirements

The installation and maintenance of a micro hydropower system is subject to Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations. The agencies responsible for administering these regulations are important partners throughout the feasibility testing, installation, and operation of a micro hydro system. In this section, get to know the different levels of regulation, as well as how and when to interact with each agency.


Federal, State, & Local Regulations

Federal and State agency regulations will apply to every project in New York State. These agencies include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and may include other agencies, depending on the specific project.

Local laws and regulations will vary across the State based on where your site is located. Being familiar with local development regulations may affect the design and feasibility of your project.
This is the most up-to-date information regarding micro hydropower policy as of Fall 2017. Be sure to work with your local federal and state agency offices, as well as your local government to make sure you have the most recent information. Check back for updates the Saw Kill project evolves and the regulatory requirements evolve.

An additional resource is the RAPID (Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop) Toolkit for hydropower in New York State. The RAPID Toolkit provides easy access to federal and state permitting information, best practices, and reference material for renewable energy and bulk transmission project development.

Federal Regulations

Learn more about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and federal regulations governing hydropower.

State Regulations

Learn more about New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the state regulations that affect hydropower installation.

Local Regulations

Learn more about your local regulations. Local regulations can have significant impacts on the feasibility and requirements of a micro hydro installation.

Federal Regulatory Process

Understand the Federal permitting process and how to start your application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
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State & Local Regulatory Process

When a notice of non-jurisdiction happens, the state and local levels of government become involved in the project. This blog post includes essential information and helpful tips for state and local permitting.
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Policy Incentives & Grid Interconnection

Access resources and explore the policy incentives that exist for micro hydro systems, including how a system can become part of the utility grid.
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The Licensing of Small/Low-Impact Hydropower Projects

If a hydropower project falls under federal jurisdiction, a license for its construction and operation will need to be obtained from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
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Water Rights

Read more to understand how your property boundary can affect your water rights for installing a micro hydro system. COMING SOON.

Saw Kill Project: FERC Permitting

The first step in the federal regulatory process is sending a Letter of Intent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The response you receive from FERC will determine what next steps are required. If FERC does not have jurisdiction over your project, there is no more FERC compliance required. If FERC does have jurisdiction over your project, you can then submit an Exemption Application.

Follow along with the Saw Kill project.

Saw Kill Project: State and Local Permitting

The State regulatory map includes the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Office of General Services, and the NYS Parks department. DEC will likely be the agency you work with the most during the permitting process.

Follow along with the Saw Kill Project.

Saw Kill Project: State and Local Permitting

The local regulatory process will depend on your local zoning laws and other local regulations. Meeting with local officials and understanding the requirement early on will ensure that your project receives all the required approvals to move forward.

Follow along with the Saw Kill Project.