LIHI announces new hydropower plant certification criteria

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has released a second edition of its certification handbook, based on criteria approved during its 2014 annual governing board meeting.

The 2nd Edition LIHI Certification Handbook, available for download from the organization’s website, addresses a number of key areas, including:

  • Ecological flow regimes;
  • Water quality;
  • Upstream fish passage;
  • Downstream fish passage and protection;
  • Shoreline and watershed protection;
  • Threatened and endangered species protection;
  • Cultural and historic resource protection; and
  • Recreational resources.

The new guidelines replace those previously established by LIHI in 2014, and apply to all applications for intake, certification and recertification submitted Jan. 1, 2016 or later.

Full details on the LIHI certification process can be found here.

LIHI has also announced that a trio of hydroelectric projects have met the criteria for re-certification within the past month.

Included are the Central Oregon Irrigation District’s 5-MW Siphon Power, Essential Power’s 18-MW West Springfield and Native Energy’s 350-kW Boulder Creek hydropower plants, located in Oregon, Massachusetts and Montana, respectively.

Each plant’s request for re-certification is subject to a 30-day public appeal. Pending LIHI’s approval, each project would be certified for five years.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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