The LIHI Certification Program has been in existence since January 2000.  Since that time the Institute has issued more than one hundred and ten low impact certificates to roughly 170 facilities with a combined installed capacity of 4.3 across the United States, and examined many more for their environmental impacts.  LIHI’s certification process is intended to protect multiple ecosystem qualities, including ecological flow regimes, water quality, upstream fish passage, downstream fish passage and protection, shoreline and watershed protection, threatened and endangered species protection, cultural and historic resource protection and recreational resources.

The criteria standards are typically based on the most recent, and most stringent, mitigation measures recommended for the dam by expert state and federal resource agencies, even if those measures aren’t a requirement for operating. A hydropower Facility that passes all criteria will be certified by LIHI, and will be able to use this certification when marketing power to consumers.

For more details about the certification criteria please visit our Low Impact Certification Criteria page.

For a recent presentation on the LIHI program and the role in green markets, please watch Low Impact Hydropower, a Pathway to Green Markets from Center for Resource Solutions on Vimeo.

Lydia Grimm, LIHI’s first Executive Director drafted this REPORT in May 2002, which provides the first comprehensive description of the Low Impact Certification Program, including its development, its first years of operations, and an assessment of its early future in the context of the green power markets in the United States.