Our Work

Otter Tail River Hydroelectric Relicensing

Final license contained limited requirements reducing Otter Tail Power’s long-term costs

Otter Tail Power Company (OTP) required support for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of the existing 3.45 megawatt Otter Tail River Hydroelectric Project. Located in Fergus Falls, MN, the Project is comprised of five developments.

Prior to relicensing, Kleinschmidt prepared a strategic assessment of available options for the project, including sale, relicensing, and decommissioning, to aid Otter Tail Power to aid in making an informed decision whether to relicense or pursue other options.

Using the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP), Kleinschmidt helped Otter Tail Power preparing all major relicensing documents and managing the relicensing studies. The one Final License Application for the five developments was filed in November 2019.

Our team conducted or managed, and prepared the study reports for the following 12 studies: 1) Impoundment bathymetry study; 2) Sediment accumulation and contaminant study; 4) Friberg bypassed reach instream flow study; 5) Hoot Lake minimum flow evaluation; 6) Fish passage feasibility study; 7) Fishery survey; 8) Mussel survey; 9) Wildlife resources survey; 10) Botanical resources survey; 11) Recreation use and facility inventory study; and 12) cultural resources survey. Kleinschmidt managed the consultation process with federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office. We worked closely with FERC staff providing significant scientific justification for adequate protection, mitigation, and enhancement (PM&E) measures.

Kleinschmidt helped Otter Tail Power receive a best-case scenario license with limited PM&E measure requirements—resulting in a cost-effective option for Otter Tail Power’s customers that maintains reservoirs near where customers and community members have built their homes.