March 22, 2024

Cassidy, Kennedy Secure Extension for Louisiana Hydropower Projects

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and John Kennedy (R-LA) today announced their successful push to break the gridlock holding up two Louisiana hydropower projects, the Overton Lock and Dam and the Red River Lock and Dam #3. The Senate passed Cassidy and Kennedy’s bill to allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend licenses for the construction of new hydropower projects that have been affected by supply chain shortages since 2020. The licenses for broth projects are set to expire in less than a month.

“Hydropower is reliable, safe, and responsible. The federal government should be enabling projects, not standing in the way,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Today’s actions are bipartisan, pro-jobs, and pro-American energy. I’m glad to see Congress cut the red tape holding up the Red River and Overton Lock projects.”

“Hydropower is an important part of our all-of-the-above energy policy, and these projects would bring construction jobs to our state. It would be foolish to allow supply chain issues from the pandemic to derail Louisiana’s hydropower developments. With this extension, Louisiana would be able to bring these two projects online to provide additional sources of reliable, clean energy for Louisianians,” said Senator Kennedy.

Hydropower is the only clean energy technology that requires a FERC license. The licensing process for a hydropower project can take over a decade, and following licensing, it can take years to move to the construction phase. If a hydropower project misses the start-of-construction deadline, FERC rescinds the license, leading to project termination and loss of years of work and significant financial investments. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and inflation disrupted many FERC-license hydropower projects, pushing them to the brink of their deadlines. 38 FERC-licensed, unbuilt hydropower projects in 16 states totaling more than 2.6 GW of energy are at risk of missing the start-of-construction deadline beginning in April 2024.