West Dudley, LLC gains LIHI Certification

PORTLAND, Maine, U.S. 10/19/2011 (PennWell) — The Governing Board of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute recently voted unanimously to award the West Dudley Hydroelectric Project a Low Impact Certification, ending a process that began this past April.

The West Dudley project is run-of-river facility located on the Quinebaug River near Dudley, Mass., and sits amidst small industrial, low-density residential and undeveloped lands.

The project itself is comprised of a 31-acre surface with a useable storage capacity of 201 acre-feet. Also included in the project are a 55-foot spillway, two sections of dam totaling nearly 200 feet in length, a 60 foot stone and masonry powerhouse, and transmission equipment and electrical facilities.

The project’s LIHI certification will last for five years, so long as West Dudley, LLC continues to operate the project in accordance to three specific conditions as specified by the Institute.

The first dictates that West Dudley, LLC develop a system for maintaining headpond elevation and flow management limitations as per conditions established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in July 2011.

Second, the company must complete its Summer 2011 water quality sampling and provide the data to the Mass DEP to ensure that the facility complies with dissolved oxygen standards.

Last, West Dudley, LLC must take steps toward providing for the downstream passage of the American eel that inhabit the waters. Temporary accommodations are required by Aug. 1, 2012, while a permanent solution must be operational by Aug. 1, 2015. The facility is also required to shut down during rainy nights from Aug. 15 through Nov. 15 for the eels’ sake.

Barring a successful appeal by any member of the public, West Dudley’s certification is effective beginning April 7, 2011.

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