Chelan County seeks low-impact certification for 48-MW Lake Chelan

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute seeks public comments on Chelan County Public Utility District’s application to certify the 48-MW Lake Chelan project as �low-impact� hydropower.

Lake Chelan (No. 637) has a 40-foot-tall concrete gravity dam and a powerhouse on the Chelan River near Chelan, Wash. It occupies about 465 acres of federal lands administered by the Forest Service and National Park Service.

The utility based its application on its 50-year relicense for continued project operation, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2006. (HNN 11/8/06) Earlier this year, Chelan County PUD declared its intent to use federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to help finance modernization of Lake Chelan and a second project. (HNN 8/15/07)

To receive low-impact certification, an applicant must demonstrate its project meets criteria addressing: river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether the dam is recommended for removal.

The non-profit LIHI has certified more than two dozen hydroelectric facilities it says demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife, including four projects in Alaska, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania named earlier this year. (HNN 4/3/07) The voluntary program is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact facilities for emerging �green� energy markets.

The Lake Chelan application is on the LIHI Internet site at Comments are due Nov. 26 to LIHI, 34 Providence St., Portland, ME 04103; Fax: (1) 206-984-3086; E-mail:

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