2019-02-15 / Letters

More reviews ahead for dams

To the editor,

Kennebunk residents, do you wonder what’s happening with the issue of keeping the Kennebunk dams and the green energy they produce? You’ll remember that citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the dams. There have been numerous meetings and proposed studies by America First Hydro (AFH) with more reviews over the next two years by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) responding to the application by AFH for a license to operate the dams.

KLPD is in the process of negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with AFH. We should support the effort to get an operator soon. Not running or maintaining the generators, KLPD owned dams are forsaking revenue. In researching AFH’s experience and the relationship of Dams owned by a municipality and operated by a separate private company, I received an example lease agreement for our KLPD lawyers, when I contacted the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Dam Bureau.

The state of New Hampshire is the owner of a number of hydropower dams. They lease the operation of the hydropower equipment to professional, knowable operators. The operator invests in maintence of existing or upgrading equipment to maximize clean energy production for their profit. In return the owner of the dams (Dam Bureau, or in our case KLPD) receives a percentage of the annual Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

KLPD as owner of the dams, can contract the operation of our dams through a PPA. In the case of the example lease from the New Hampshire Dam Bureau, the owner receives 5 percent of AGR for the first 10 years, 10 percent of AGR for following 10 years and 20 percent of the last 30 years. This is a shared revenue over the 50 years of a FERC License.

Let’s hope that the KLPD lawyers negotiating a power purchase agreement with AFH, can learn from the DES Dam Bureau’s experienced leasing, and not give away the revenue and value our KLPD owned dams generate.

Albert Kolff

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