Renewable Energy Planning
The Renewable Energy Planning Branch of the Habitat Conservation Division...
- assists the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the review and licensing or re-licensing of numerous non-Federal hydropower projects.
- provides intensive involvement in multi-party negotiations aimed at balancing the needs for renewable energy generation, fish and wildlife habitat protection and preservation, and recreational opportunities.
- provides technical expertise and working closely with other Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal, and State agency staff in evaluating the adequacy of instream flows to protect and preserve anadromous and resident fisheries.
The hydropower licensing process provides the Service with a critical role in pursuing the restoration of the nation's wetlands, waterways, and watersheds through its various programs in collaboration with our partners.
Opportunities include restoring river flows, protection of fish and wildlife habitat, protection of listed species, provision of fish passage to reconnect fragmented river habitats, and fish and wildlife restoration.
This effort integrates many of the Service's programs and has a long tradition of fostering collaboration with the regulated community and our partners to accomplish common ecosystem conservation and restoration goals.
The program success requires a long-term project planning commitment (the Federal Energy Regulatory Ccommission's licensing process averages 7 years to complete) to reap long-term fish and wildlife benefits (30-50 years).
The ability of a fish to spawn and rear young to survive is dependent on the volume of water flowing within the creeks and rivers.
Too little flow at critical times could cause salmon eggs and young to become stranded and die. Too much water and the eggs and young can be washed away during a flood situation.
Learn about the studies being done to identify the instream flow requirements for anadromous fish within the Central Valley of California here.