Pawtucket Project Re-Certified, --- Only LIHI certified Project in Rhode Island
Portland, Maine - (March 4, 2010) - The Low Impact Hydropower Institute's Governing Board determined that the Pawtucket Project, FERC No. 3689, continues to meet the Low Impact Hydropower Certification Criteria. In reaching its decision to certify the Pawtucket Project, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute's Governing Board reviewed the application for certification, as well as the Application Reviewer's report. The Board's vote to re-certify the Pawtucket Project as a Low Impact facility was unanimous.
Based on public comments that expressed concerns about or opposing the project's re-certification, the LIHI Board re-certifies the Pawtucket No. 2 Small Hydroelectric Project (project or facility) effective April 23, 2009 with the following non-standard conditions:
A. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has implemented a plan for restoring anadromous fish to the Blackstone River. If the Applicant contests a requirement developed under Exemption Standard Article 2 (which incorporates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's May 21, 1981 comment letter), LIHI certification of the Pawtucket Project shall be suspended subject to the project's continuing compliance with other requirements of LIHI certification.
B. If the resource agencies prevail in the dispute, and the project complies with the resource agencies' orders, LIHI will restore the project's certification.
C. If the resource agencies prevail in the dispute, and the project refuses to comply with the resource agencies' orders, LIHI will revoke the project's certification.
D. If the project prevails in the dispute and the resource agencies' recommendations are overturned by a legal proceeding, those recommendations will cease to be valid and LIHI will restore the project's certification subject to the project's continuing compliance with other requirements of LIHI certification
The certification of the Pawtucket Project facility is valid for five years and will expire on April 23, 2014.
PORTLAND, ME – (April 10, 2009)—The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) announced that Pawtucket Hydropower, LLC has filed an applications to re-certify its Pawtucket Hydroelectric Project as low impact. The Project is located on the Blackstone River, Rhode Island. The 1.3 megawatt facility is owned and operated by Pawtucket Hydropower, LLC, and licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Pawtucket Project consists of "(1) a brick and timber dam, about 200 feet long and 4 feet high, constructed at the top of waterfalls about 13 feet high; (2) a reservoir of negligible storage...; (3) an intake structure and brick-lined underground tunnel (penstock) 17.5 feet in diameter and 130 feet long; (4) a brick and granite hydroelectric station building...and a tailrace, 90 feet long and 45 feet wide..." In conjunction with FERC's issuance of the 1981 license exemption to the project's previous owner, Blackstone Valley Electric Company, waterwheels and generators were replaced with turbines. Today the project operates two 1.9 meter full Kaplan turbines with total installed capacity of 1,300 kilowatts and average annual generation of 4,000 megawatt hours. The facility operates in run-of-river mode, with a small impoundment of approximately 1 acre in surface and 2 acre-feet in volume; the facility inundates less than 1/2 acre. Non-reservoir facilities occupy 1/2 acre. Blackstone Valley Electric Company transferred facility ownership to the applicant in 1999.
The certification of the Pawtucket Project facility is valid for five years and will expire on April 23, 2009.
Facility location: Blackstone River, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Installed capacity: 1.3 MW
Average annual generation: 4 gigawatt hours
FERC exemption: issued: 1981
Applicant: Pawtucket Hydropower, LLC
Applicant contact: Charles Rosenfield, (860) 928-7100
Date application posted to website: April 13, 2009
Date public comment period closes: June 13, 2004
Date certification expires: April 23, 2009
We encourage public comments on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Pawtucket Project meets our LIHI criteria. Review the program and criteria in greater detail and then review the Pawtucket Project application. Comments that are directly tied to specific LIHI criteria (flows, water quality, fish passage, etc) will be most helpful, but all comments will be considered.
Comments may be submitted to the Institute by e-mail (preferred) at firstname.lastname@example.org with " Pawtucket comments" in the subject line; by fax at (206) – 984-3086; or by mail addressed to LIHI, 34 Providence Street, Portland, ME, 04103. Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on June 13, 2009 to be considered. All comments will be posted to the web site and the applicant will have an opportunity to respond. Any response will also be posted.
For further information about the Pawtucket Project , or any of the other projects certified as Low Impact, please contact Fred Ayer, LIHI Executive Director at (207) 773-8190, or visit the LIHI website at www.lowimpacthydro.org. LIHI is a nonprofit organization that certifies environmentally low impact hydropower facilities nationwide to help energy consumers, and to support market incentives for reducing the effects of hydropower dams on the nation's rivers and streams.
June 11, 2009 - LIHI received a comment email from Russ Cohen, Mass. Riverways Program, Mass. Dept. of Fish and Game. A link to his comments in pdf can be found at the bottom of this page.
June 11, 2009: LIHI received the following brief response to Mr. Cohen's Comments from the Applicant .
"Fred, I have read the comment of Russ Cohen on our Pawtucket recertification application. First, I would like anyone interested in this to read Mr. Cohen's comment from five years ago on our original application, and my complete answer at that time. Pawtucket Hydro is currently cooperating with, and moving forward on, the fish passage plan led by the NRCS. Any delays to date have not been our fault. You can speak with Frank Geary of the Blackstone River Coalition or Andy Lipsky at the NRCS to confirm this, both of whom have contact information in our recertification information. Charles Rosenfield"
June 15, 2009 - LIHI received a comment email from David Newton, Blackstone River WatershedCouncil. A link to his comments in pdf can be found at the bottom of this page.
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