An official website of the State of Oregon
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A major hydroelectric project is 100 theoretical horsepower or more in capacity and is eligible for a major hydroelectric license under ORS 543. A major license may be issued for up to 50 years.
Theoretical horsepower (THP) is calculated by the water flow through the turbines in cubic feet per second multiplied by the head in feet (difference in elevation from the place where the water is diverted to the elevation at which it is released from the turbine) and divided by 8.8. (Water flow cfs * Head ft / 8.8) = THP.
Many major projects are also subject to the licensing requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Oregon licensing process is coordinated with the FERC process to the extent possible and many of the application documents and environmental reviews may be used for both processes.
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