Four more U.S. projects earn "low-impact" hydro certification

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute announced it has certified four projects in Oregon, Kentucky, Alaska, and Pennsylvania as �low-impact� hydropower.

The largest project is three-plant, 366.82-MW Pelton Round Butte (No. 2030) in Oregon, owned by Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. It is the second largest project ever designated by LIHI, which so far has certified more than two dozen facilities that demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife. Seattle City Light’s 690-MW Skagit project in Washington became the largest project ever certified, in 2003.

LIHI said it certified Pelton Round Butte in March, based on an array of environmental protection measures, including a new fish passage system that is to be under construction this fall. The project is located on Oregon’s Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius rivers.

LIHI certified two other low-impact projects in March: 2.04-MW Mother Ann Lee (No. 539) in Kentucky, and 4-MW Goat Lake (No. 11077) in Alaska. In January, it certified a fourth project, 21-MW Raystown (No. 2769) in Pennsylvania. The four projects are among 26 certified facilities that have a total installed capacity of about 1,917 MW.

Lock 7 Hydro Partners is the licensee of Mother Ann Lee, at Lock and Dam 7 on the Kentucky River. Goat Lake is the second project owned by Alaska Power and Telephone to earn certification; 4.5-MW Black Bear Lake (No. 10440) on Prince of Wales Island was its first. (HNN 1/10/07)

Alleghany Electric Cooperative owns and operates Raystown and the project’s William F. Matson generating station. The project is located at a Corps of Engineers dam on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in central Pennsylvania.

LIHI is processing a recent application for recertification by 575-kW Putnam (No. 5645), on the Quinebaug River in northeastern Connecticut. Putnam Hydropower Inc., the project’s owner, said there are no changes from the application it originally filed in 2002. LIHI said it could make a decision on the new application in April or May.

LIHI is a non-profit organization that certifies �low-impact� hydropower facilities nationwide. The program is voluntary, and is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact facilities for emerging �green� energy markets.

To become certified, 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.


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