Hydropower Dam Relicensing


This project was part of a large FERC relicensing of an existing hydropower project, Smith Mountain Lake. Scientific, stakeholder, and regulatory support services were provided resulting in a successful license application and renewal.

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Appalachian Power Company
Roanoke, Virginia
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Roanoke, Virginia

Project Highlights


This project included field, analytical, and regulatory consulting services during the integrated licensing process for the Smith Mountain and Leesville Lake combined pump-storage projects license renewal.

  • Watershed modeling system identified reservoir sediment sources and impacts on storage capacity
  • Extensive survey and mapping of sedimentation and reconstruction of historic sedimentation rates.
  • Rapid and comprehensive response to ILP reviews and challenges from numerous stakeholder and governmental bodies

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Project Challenges


  • Extensive amounts of data needed over a short time frame.
  • The Integrated Licensing Process involved a revised timeline and stakeholder challenges.
  • Property rights and project scope created numerous contentious stakeholder issues.
  • Communicate complex processes to non-specialist entities.
  • Necessary to predict future system response to forcing factors.

Baird Solutions


  • Expedited field data program supported other studies and rebutted appeals.
  • Experience with the ILP allowed for rapid mobilization and adaptability.
  • Coordination with regulatory officials resolved all issues.
  • Interactive workshops and meetings educated stakeholders.
  • Future sedimentation predicted for land cover and climatic scenarios.

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