Washington project declared low-impact hydro

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has certified the 13.6-MW Tieton Dam project on the Tieton River in Yakima County, Wash., as �low-impact� hydropower.

The project powerhouse is located at the base of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Tieton Dam, about 21 miles upstream of the Tieton River’s confluence with the Naches River. The powerhouse began operating in September 2006. (HNN 1/5/07)

The dam is an earthfill structure with a concrete core wall diaphragm. It forms Rimrock Lake, a reservoir with a storage capacity of 198,000 acre-feet. The reservoir creates a head of 198 feet to drive powerhouse turbines.

LIHI said Tieton Dam (No. 3701) meets criteria for low-impact certification addressing: river flows; water quality; fish passage and protection; protection of watershed, threatened and endangered species, and cultural resources; recreation; and whether the dam has been recommended for removal.

The voluntary LIHI program is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact hydropower facilities for emerging �green� energy markets.

Since 2001, LIHI has certified more than three dozen projects, many with multiple powerhouses, that it says demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife.

Earlier this year, LIHI recertified Miller Hydro Group’s 19.4-MW Worumbo project on Maine’s Androscoggin River and certified two Brookfield Renewable Power projects totaling more than 25 MW along New York’s Oswego River. (HNN 7/9/08)

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