LIHI Certificate #84 - Vine Street Hydroelectric Project, Albany, Oregon (FERC #11509)

Harrington Park, New Jersey (August 20, 2014) - The Vine Street Hydroelectric Project (LIHI Certificate No. 84, FERC No. 11509) is hereby certified as Low Impact, for again satisfying the requirements of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) Certification Program. The Vine Street facility is a 500-kW conduit hydropower project located at the end of the Santiam-Albany canal, in the cities of Lebanon and Albany, Linn County, Oregon.  That canal is a diversion structure used for water supply that originates on the South Santiam River.

In rendering this Certification, the Institute’s Executive Director used authority delegated by the LIHI Governing Board, a full review of the Application Reviewer’s report and recommendation, and all public comments and additional materials provided by the Applicant.  The decision to certify the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project is for a 5-year term, effective May 4, 2014 and expiring May 4, 2019.

Certification Benefits

The clean energy benefit of the Vine Street facility is the generation of approximately 2.8 million kWhr of electricity per year.  Using current U.S. EPA data for typical household electricity demand, that annual generation is enough to supply electricity to 244 homes. In addition to those energy benefits, the Vine Street facility provides the following ecological benefits to local rivers: maintenance of minimum flows to protect fish habitat downstream of its diversion points, water quality monitoring and participation in TMDL planning to protect and restore water quality, and annual compliance reports on the operation of fish screens and fishways around the facility.  The applicable state and federal resource management agencies have confirmed that the Vine Street facility continues to be in compliance with all regulatory requirements.  Review of the recertification application confirms that the project satisfies all LIHI criteria.

Harrington Park, New Jersey (April 17, 2014) - On March 28, 2014, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received an application for a second term of Low Impact Certification of the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 11509.  The current Certificate term is scheduled to expire on May 4, 2014.  Due to administrative backlog, the Executive Director has extended the term of the Vine Street project to July 31, 2014, in order to allow time to review the application.

We encourage public comments on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project continues to meet our LIHI criteria.  Please review the program and criteria in greater detail and then review the Project's 2014 application materials posted below.  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 at with “Vine Street Hydroelectric Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, PO Box 194, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on June 17, 2014 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.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the Vine Street Hydroelectric Project application submittals.

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.




Vine Street Decision letter
Final Report w/o appendicies
2014 Questionnaire
2014 Application Attachments
2014 Recertification Reviewer's Report

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