Low Impact group recertifies 1.5-MW Wyoming project

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has recertified the 1.5-MW Strawberry Creek project in Wyoming as �low-impact� hydropower.

Lower Valley Energy Inc. owns and operates the run-of-river Strawberry Creek project (No. 2032), on Strawberry Creek in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. LIHI announced recertification of the project Jan. 28; the project first earned LIHI certification in 2004.

LIHI certifies projects based on whether applicants can demonstrate projects meet its �low impact� criteria for river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation, and whether the dam has been recommended for removal. (HNN 1/2/09)

The Strawberry Creek project features a 22-foot-tall, 110-foot-long reinforced concrete gravity dam, an intake sluice, a reservoir with a surface area of about 2.8 acres, a 2.3-mile-long penstock, and a powerhouse with three turbine-generators. The project owner diverts all flows up to 48 cubic feet per second for power generation.

The voluntary LIHI program is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact hydropower facilities for emerging �green� energy markets. While certified, the project can be marketed as a certified low-impact hydro facility. Certification also means a project could be eligible for other green power programs.

Comments sought on 400-kW Virginia project

LIHI seeks comments on an application for certification of the 400-kW Harris Bridge project (No. 4440), on the Rockfish River in Virginia. Comments are due March 17.

Owner Blue Sky Power submitted an application for the project, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project features an 18-foot-tall stone dam and associated stone and earth canal works built in the 1890s and later altered. The stone powerhouse was built in 1921 to provide electricity to a stone mill and to a railroad operated by the mill.

The 800-foot-long canal transports water from the dam to powerhouse, which contains two vertical-axis Francis turbines, generators, and switchgear. The Harris Bridge power plant is a run-of-river facility with no reservoir storage other than what is in the canal.

The application and instructions for submitting comments are on LIHI’s Internet site, www.lowimpacthydro.org.

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