(a) Relicensing procedures; terms and conditions; issuance to applicant with proposal best adapted to serve public interest; factors considered
(1)If the United States does not, at the expiration of the existing license, exercise its right to take over, maintain, and operate any project or projects of the licensee, as provided in section
807 of this title, the commission is authorized to issue a new license to the existing licensee upon such terms and conditions as may be authorized or required under the then existing laws and regulations, or to issue a new license under said terms and conditions to a new licensee, which license may cover any project or projects covered by the existing license, and shall be issued on the condition that the new licensee shall, before taking possession of such project or projects, pay such amount, and assume such contracts as the United States is required to do in the manner specified in section
807 of this title: Provided, That in the event the United States does not exercise the right to take over or does not issue a license to a new licensee, or issue a new license to the existing licensee, upon reasonable terms, then the commission shall issue from year to year an annual license to the then licensee under the terms and conditions of the existing license until the property is taken over or a new license is issued as aforesaid.
(2)Any new license issued under this section shall be issued to the applicant having the final proposal which the Commission determines is best adapted to serve the public interest, except that in making this determination the Commission shall ensure that insignificant differences with regard to subparagraphs (A) through (G) of this paragraph between competing applications are not determinative and shall not result in the transfer of a project. In making a determination under this section (whether or not more than one application is submitted for the project), the Commission shall, in addition to the requirements of section
803 of this title, consider (and explain such consideration in writing) each of the following:
(A)The plans and abilities of the applicant to comply with
(i) the articles, terms, and conditions of any license issued to it and
(ii) other applicable provisions of this subchapter.
(B)The plans of the applicant to manage, operate, and maintain the project safely.
(C)The plans and abilities of the applicant to operate and maintain the project in a manner most likely to provide efficient and reliable electric service.
(D)The need of the applicant over the short and long term for the electricity generated by the project or projects to serve its customers, including, among other relevant considerations, the reasonable costs and reasonable availability of alternative sources of power, taking into consideration conservation and other relevant factors and taking into consideration the effect on the provider (including its customers) of the alternative source of power, the effect on the applicant’s operating and load characteristics, the effect on communities served or to be served by the project, and in the case of an applicant using power for the applicant’s own industrial facility and related operations, the effect on the operation and efficiency of such facility or related operations, its workers, and the related community. In the case of an applicant that is an Indian tribe applying for a license for a project located on the tribal reservation, a statement of the need of such tribe for electricity generated by the project to foster the purposes of the reservation may be included.
(E)The existing and planned transmission services of the applicant, taking into consideration system reliability, costs, and other applicable economic and technical factors.
(F)Whether the plans of the applicant will be achieved, to the greatest extent possible, in a cost effective manner.
(G)Such other factors as the Commission may deem relevant, except that the terms and conditions in the license for the protection, mitigation, or enhancement of fish and wildlife resources affected by the development, operation, and management of the project shall be determined in accordance with section
803 of this title, and the plans of an applicant concerning fish and wildlife shall not be subject to a comparative evaluation under this subsection.
(3)In the case of an application by the existing licensee, the Commission shall also take into consideration each of the following:
(A)The existing licensee’s record of compliance with the terms and conditions of the existing license.
(B)The actions taken by the existing licensee related to the project which affect the public.
(b) Notification of intention regarding renewal; public availability of documents; notice to public and Federal agencies; identification of Federal or Indian lands included; additional information required
(1)Each existing licensee shall notify the Commission whether the licensee intends to file an application for a new license or not. Such notice shall be submitted at least 5 years before the expiration of the existing license.
(2)At the time notice is provided under paragraph (1), the existing licensee shall make each of the following reasonably available to the public for inspection at the offices of such licensee: current maps, drawings, data, and such other information as the Commission shall, by rule, require regarding the construction and operation of the licensed project. Such information shall include, to the greatest extent practicable pertinent energy conservation, recreation, fish and wildlife, and other environmental information. Copies of the information shall be made available at reasonable costs of reproduction. Within 180 days after October 16, 1986, the Commission shall promulgate regulations regarding the information to be provided under this paragraph.
(3)Promptly following receipt of notice under paragraph (1), the Commission shall provide public notice of whether an existing licensee intends to file or not to file an application for a new license. The Commission shall also promptly notify the National Marine Fisheries Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the appropriate State fish and wildlife agencies.
(4)The Commission shall require the applicant to identify any Federal or Indian lands included in the project boundary, together with a statement of the annual fees paid as required by this subchapter for such lands, and to provide such additional information as the Commission deems appropriate to carry out the Commission’s responsibilities under this section.
(c) Time of filing application; consultation and participation in studies with fish and wildlife agencies; notice to applicants; adjustment of time periods
(1)Each application for a new license pursuant to this section shall be filed with the Commission at least 24 months before the expiration of the term of the existing license. Each applicant shall consult with the fish and wildlife agencies referred to in subsection (b) of this section and, as appropriate, conduct studies with such agencies. Within 60 days after the statutory deadline for the submission of applications, the Commission shall issue a notice establishing expeditious procedures for relicensing and a deadline for submission of final amendments, if any, to the application.
(2)The time periods specified in this subsection and in subsection (b) of this section shall be adjusted, in a manner that achieves the objectives of this section, by the Commission by rule or order with respect to existing licensees who, by reason of the expiration dates of their licenses, are unable to comply with a specified time period.
(d) Adequacy of transmission facilities; provision of services to successor by existing licensee; tariff; final order; modification, extension or termination of order
(1)In evaluating applications for new licenses pursuant to this section, the Commission shall not consider whether an applicant has adequate transmission facilities with regard to the project.
(2)When the Commission issues a new license (pursuant to this section) to an applicant which is not the existing licensee of the project and finds that it is not feasible for the new licensee to utilize the energy from such project without provision by the existing licensee of reasonable services, including transmission services, the Commission shall give notice to the existing licensee and the new licensee to immediately enter into negotiations for such services and the costs demonstrated by the existing licensee as being related to the provision of such services. It is the intent of the Congress that such negotiations be carried out in good faith and that a timely agreement be reached between the parties in order to facilitate the transfer of the license by the date established when the Commission issued the new license. If such parties do not notify the Commission that within the time established by the Commission in such notice (and if appropriate, in the judgment of the Commission, one 45-day extension thereof), a mutually satisfactory arrangement for such services that is consistent with the provisions of this chapter has been executed, the Commission shall order the existing licensee to file (pursuant to section
824d of this title) with the Commission a tariff, subject to refund, ensuring such services beginning on the date of transfer of the project and including just and reasonable rates and reasonable terms and conditions. After notice and opportunity for a hearing, the Commission shall issue a final order adopting or modifying such tariff for such services at just and reasonable rates in accordance with section
824d of this title and in accordance with reasonable terms and conditions. The Commission, in issuing such order, shall ensure the services necessary for the full and efficient utilization and benefits for the license term of the electric energy from the project by the new licensee in accordance with the license and this subchapter, except that in issuing such order the Commission—
(A)shall not compel the existing licensee to enlarge generating facilities, transmit electric energy other than to the distribution system (providing service to customers) of the new licensee identified as of the date one day preceding the date of license award, or require the acquisition of new facilities, including the upgrading of existing facilities other than any reasonable enhancement or improvement of existing facilities controlled by the existing licensee (including any acquisition related to such enhancement or improvement) necessary to carry out the purposes of this paragraph;
(B)shall not adversely affect the continuity and reliability of service to the customers of the existing licensee;
(C)shall not adversely affect the operational integrity of the transmission and electric systems of the existing licensee;
(D)shall not cause any reasonably quantifiable increase in the jurisdictional rates of the existing licensee; and
(E)shall not order any entity other than the existing licensee to provide transmission or other services.
Such order shall be for such period as the Commission deems appropriate, not to exceed the term of the license. At any time, the Commission, upon its own motion or upon a petition by the existing or new licensee and after notice and opportunity for a hearing, may modify, extend, or terminate such order.
(e) License term on relicensing
Except for an annual license, any license issued by the Commission under this section shall be for a term which the Commission determines to be in the public interest but not less than 30 years, nor more than 50 years, from the date on which the license is issued.
(f) Nonpower use licenses; recordkeeping
In issuing any licenses under this section except an annual license, the Commission, on its own motion or upon application of any licensee, person, State, municipality, or State commission, after notice to each State commission and licensee affected, and after opportunity for hearing, whenever it finds that in conformity with a comprehensive plan for improving or developing a waterway or waterways for beneficial public uses all or part of any licensed project should no longer be used or adapted for use for power purposes, may license all or part of the project works for nonpower use. A license for nonpower use shall be issued to a new licensee only on the condition that the new licensee shall, before taking possession of the facilities encompassed thereunder, pay such amount and assume such contracts as the United States is required to do, in the manner specified in section
807 of this title. Any license for nonpower use shall be a temporary license. Whenever, in the judgment of the Commission, a State, municipality, interstate agency, or another Federal agency is authorized and willing to assume regulatory supervision of the lands and facilities included under the nonpower license and does so, the Commission shall thereupon terminate the license. Consistent with the provisions of subchapter IV of this chapter, every licensee for nonpower use shall keep such accounts and file such annual and other periodic or special reports concerning the removal, alteration, nonpower use, or other disposition of any project works or parts thereof covered by the nonpower use license as the Commission may by rules and regulations or order prescribe as necessary or appropriate.
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–495, § 4(a), (b)(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “existing” for “original” wherever appearing, and added pars. (2) and (3).
Subsecs. (b) to (f). Pub. L. 99–495, §§ 4(a),
5, added subsecs. (b) to (e) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (f).
1968—Pub. L. 90–451designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 99–495effective with respect to each license, permit, or exemption issued under this chapter after Oct. 16, 1986, see section 18 ofPub. L. 99–495, set out as a note under section
797 of this title.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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