Maine, New York projects declared low-impact hydro

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has recertified the 19.4-MW Worumbo project on Maine’s Androscoggin River and certified two projects totaling more than 25 MW along New York’s Oswego River as �low-impact� hydropower.

LIHI said the projects meet its criteria for low-impact certification addressing: river flows; water quality; fish passage and fish 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.

Worumbo project recertified

LIHI’s governing board recertified Miller Hydro Group’s Worumbo project (No. 3428) in a unanimous decision July 3. The organization granted Miller Hydro’s request to accelerate the expiration date of the original certificate, scheduled to expire in February 2009. Recertification covers a new five-year term.

Worumbo, in Lisbon Falls, Maine, features a powerhouse with two turbine-generators operating under a head of 30.5 feet. It is operated as a run-of-river project and provides seasonally varied minimum flow releases into a bypassed river reach. Minimum flow releases are maintained at 1,700 cubic feet per second or inflow during refilling of the impoundment. Average annual generation is about 82.2 gigawatt-hours.

Oswego River projects certified

LIHI’s governing board certified Brookfield Renewable Power’s Oswego River plants in a unanimous decision, also made July 3.

Brookfield Renewable Power is the licensee for the plants, which consist of five power developments in two projects licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:
o 7.46-MW Oswego Falls (No. 5984) including Oswego Falls East (HNN 1/23/07) and Oswego Falls West plants (HNN 4/26/07); and
o 18.05-MW Oswego River (No. 2474) including Fulton, Minetto, and Varick plants.

All five developments are located at locks and dams owned by the New York State Thruway Authority Canal Corp., which operates the State Barge Canal System.

Since 2001, LIHI has certified about three dozen projects, many with multiple powerhouses, that it says demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife. Earlier this year, LIHI certified Brookfield’s 37.6-MW Black River hydro complex, also in New York. (HNN 4/9/08)

Brookfield Renewable Power, a subsidiary of Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc., is the successor to Brookfield Power Inc. and its subsidiary, Brookfield Power Corp.

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