Portland, Maine (February 23, 2012) - The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) announced today that the LIHI Governing Board certified the City of Albany, Oregon's Vine Street Hydroelectric Project (Project) which is located on the South Santiam River, Albany-Santiam canal, and Calapooia River in the cities of Lebanon and Albany, Linn County, Oregon.
Vine Street Hydroelectric Project, Albany, Oregon
In reaching its decision to certify the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project, the LIHI’s Governing Board reviewed the application for certification, as well as the Application Reviewer’s report. The Board’s vote to certify the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project was unanimous, and the Board approves certification for the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project for five-years.
The effective certification date for the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project is May 4, 2009 and will expire on May 4, 2014. Any Commenter may submit a letter to the Certification Administrator requesting an appeal within 30 days of the posting of the Certification Decision on the Institute’s Web page. An appeal request must include specific reasons why the hydropower facility should have failed one or more criteria. If an individual or organization did not comment on the initial Application Package, they may not file an appeal.
Portland, Maine (May 4, 2009) – The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) announced today that the City of Albany, Oregon ("City" or Applicant) has submitted an application for certification of the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project (Project) which is located on the South Santiam River, Albany-Santiam canal, and Calapooia River in the cities of Lebanon and Albany, Linn County, Oregon.
The City received a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 1998 to operate the Vine Street facility in conjunction with having to make improvements to the Diversion Dam and Canal Intake Structure to protect migratory fish. In December of 2006, after completing structural improvements at the South Santiam River, the City started upgrading of the hydropower facility, which involved replacing one of two historic turbine-generators with a similarly-sized 500-kilowatt power unit built in China. A team of four Chinese engineers and technicians worked in Albany for two months assembling and aligning the new equipment. PLC control systems and SCADA monitoring were also provided. The second turbine-generator remains in place as a historical artifact, along with old switchgear, power meters, dials and gauges. Overall, in addition to providing water for hydropower generation, and as Albany's original water supply, the Santiam-Albany Canal is protected to provide safe drinking water to citizens of Lebanon and Albany.
The new equipment started producing some power in October 2008. Since then, engineers have been fine-tuning operations and in January 2009, the system began its 7-day substantial completion test and is now in full commercial operation.
The facility will operate year-round except for a few months each summer when South Santiam river flows are too low to divert water into the Canal for hydropower purposes, as required by the FERC License. The system will utilize 190-cfs of flow and approximately 36-feet of hydraulic head, available at the end of the 18-mile Canal. This water has for years plunged into the Calapooia River at this location. Now it will instead be routed through the new turbine for power generation. The turbine's discharge draft tube will only be about 200-feet away from the former Canal discharge, while generating up to 500-kW of power. Approximately 2.8 million kilowatt-hours will be produced annually, enough to power 250 homes. Each year, the clean renewable electricity will prevent 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of planting 4 acres of trees annually.
The Santiam-Albany Canal that delivers water to the project is an 18-mile open channel, built in the 1870s by Chinese laborers. In 2006 at the upstream end of the Canal, the City of Albany made major hydraulic improvements to the canal, including the following:
1. Installed automatically controlled slide gates at the existing Headworks Flow Control Structure to provide accurate flow control into the Canal.
2. Improved fish passage at four (4) poorly performing fish ladders on the existing 6-foot high concrete diversion dam on the South Santiam River. Three of the ladders were removed entirely and replaced with an efficient, high-volume pool-and-chute ladder. One of the existing ladders was substantially upgraded with new weirs and additional attraction water.
3. A Vee-shaped Fish Screen was added to the entrance of the Canal to prevent migratory fish from straying into the canal and getting lost. Previously the Canal entrance was unscreened.
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