Developer to rehabilitate Westfield River site in Massachusetts

Indian River Power Supply LLC plans to rehabilitate Russell Dam on the Westfield River in Massachusetts and restore a mothballed powerhouse as the 700-kW Indian River project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the site owner an exemption from licensing requirements for the project (No. 12462), which has been idle since 1994. It did so after dismissing a preliminary permit application filed by a competing developer, Alternative Light and Hydro Associates.

Standard terms and conditions of the exemption from licensing require rehabilitation work must begin by Feb. 22, 2008. The work must be completed by Feb. 22, 2010.

Indian River Power plans to install new electrical control equipment in the powerhouse, perform general maintenance of turbines and generators, and build a transmission line. It also plans to dredge debris from the forebay, install new trashracks on intakes, and reinstall 2-foot-tall flashboards on Russell Dam, a 30-foot-tall, 425-foot-long structure.

Indian River Power said it will operate the project in a run-of-river mode. It also plans to install downstream fish passage facilities, and upstream and downstream eel passage. It will develop a sediment removal plan, and a minimum flow plan for a bypassed reach. The company also will participate in a trap-and-truck program for Atlantic salmon.

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