We assess fees to public and private hydropower dams licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The fees are assessed for the use of state waters for power generation and are based on the generation capacity of the project. Federal hydropower dams are not licensed by the FERC and therefore do not pay these fees.
Water power license fee revenue enables us — and other Washington state agencies — to help the hydropower industry meet federal licensing requirements that protect water quality and also protect, mitigate, and enhance fish, wildlife, and habitat. These fees were initially enacted in 2007 and are set to expire Jun 30, 2023. (RCW 90.16.050).