Commissioner James Danly Statement
October 21, 2021
Project No. 9685-034

I concur with today’s order directing Ampersand Cranberry Lake Hydro, LLC (Ampersand) to show cause why it should not be assessed a civil penalty of $600,000 for violating Standard Article 5 of Ampersand’s license.[1]  I write separately to underscore two points.

First, the Commission cannot allow licensees to thwart their license obligations by forfeiting the property rights necessary to comply with those obligations. 

Second, this proceeding highlights how critical it is for the Commission to ensure that licensees have the financial wherewithal (and incentive) to physically maintain their facilities.[2]  The Commission inquired into Ampersand’s ability to meet the financial obligations of the project.[3]  Ampersand assured the Commission that it “will be positioned to access funding necessary to operate and maintain the Project safely and in accordance with its respective license,” noting its access to lines of credit, debt, and equity infusions from its parent company.[4]  The Commission reviewed Ampersand’s assurances and found them satisfactory.[5]  And despite these steps, Ampersand has not yet completed work on the fuse plug spillway which it had said would be complete by the second quarter of 2017.[6]

How to go about resolving the issue of licensee solvency requires a great deal of thought.  My hope is that, when we move forward from the Notice of Inquiry, we will convene one or more technical conferences to offer more structured fora in which to explore these questions.  It is my further hope that everyone with an interest participate in the Commission’s generic proceedings on financial assurance, to help us improve the record we have already begun compiling in the Notice of Inquiry and offer the best analysis they can regarding the extent of the Commission’s powers and the most reasonable means by which to employ them.

For these reasons, I respectfully concur.


[1] Ampersand Cranberry Lake Hydro, LLC, 177 FERC ¶ 61,028 (2021).

[2] See Financial Assurance Measures for Hydroelectric Projects, 174 FERC ¶ 61,039 (2021) (Notice of Inquiry); see also Boyce Hydro Power, LLC, 175 FERC ¶ 61,049 (2021) (Danly, Comm’r, concurring at P 3).

[3] See Commission Staff December 23, 2014 Additional Information Request Letter, Docket No. P-9685-030, at 1-2 (Accession No. 20141223-3051).

[4] See Ampersand January 13, 2015 Additional Information Request Letter Response, Docket No. P-9685-030, at 1-2 (Accession No. 20150113-5123).

[5] See Trafalgar Power, Inc., 150 FERC ¶ 62,146, at P 4 (2015).

[6] See Trafalgar Power Inc. and Ampersand December 5, 2014 Joint Application for Approval of Transfer of License, Docket No. P-9685-031, at Ex. A Proposed Preliminary Schedule (Accession No. 20141205-5327).

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