Montana, Washington projects earn low-impact hydro certification

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute announced it certified the 350-kW Boulder Creek project in Montana and the 48-MW Lake Chelan project in Washington as �low-impact� hydropower.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes own the Boulder Creek project (No. 7086) on Boulder Creek in northwest Montana. A corporation owned by the tribes manages and operates the run-of-river project.

Chelan County Public Utility District owns and operates the Lake Chelan project (No. 637) on the Chelan River near Chelan, Wash. (HNN 11/21/07) The project features a 55-mile-long glacial lake, 40-foot-tall concrete gravity dam, and powerhouse containing two turbine-generators. It generates about 380,871 MWh annually.

Portland-based LIHI certified both projects in January. The voluntary program is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact facilities for emerging �green� energy markets.

To receive LIHI certification, an applicant must demonstrate its project meets criteria addressing river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether the dam is recommended for removal.

LIHI has certified more than two dozen hydro facilities it says demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife. (HNN 1/28/08)

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