Project Name Byron Weston
LIHI Certificate Number 133
LIHI Effective and Expiration Dates December 29, 2016
December 29, 2021
Owner Crane & Company
State Massachusetts
Location East Branch of the Housatonic River in Dalton, MA
Installed Capacity 250 kW
Average Annual Generation 938 MWh
Facility Type Run of River
FERC No. 13583 (exemption)

The Byron Weston Dam No. 2 hydroelectric project is constructed on a dam built in 1887.  Crane was granted a Small Hydroelectric Power Project Exemption from the FERC (No. 13583-001) and the project became operational on October 13, 2013.

The Project is located at the Bryon Weston Dam No. 2 in Dalton, Massachusetts on the East Branch of the Housatonic River. The development is located at river mile (RM) 7.97 upstream from the East Branch confluence with the main Housatonic River.

The Byron Weston Project uses the water power from the existing 30- foot-high, 90- foot-long, stone-masonry Byron Weston Dam No. 2. The dam structure includes a 23- foot high, 75-foot-long spillway which comprises the majority of the dam. The dam creates a 0.94- acre impoundment with a normal water surface elevation of 1,116.7 feet North Atlantic Vertical Datum (NAVD 1988). In addition to the dam and impoundment, the project includes an existing intake structure equipped with existing trashracks and an existing headgate. The water passes through the headgate to an existing 50-foot-long, 9.5-foot-wide headrace canal. The headrace canal will convey flow to a new 15-foot-long, 4.4-foot-diameter penstock leading to a new 250-kilowatt turbine-generating unit within the existing Byron Weston Defiance Mill building. Water will then be discharged into the East Branch of the Housatonic River through a new draft tube within the existing tailrace approximately 35 feet downstream of the dam. The bypass reach created by the hydropower project is approximately 35 feet long and is configured such that it discharges backwater to the toe of the spillway.

The Project’s main components consists of:

  • The existing 30-foot-high, 90-foot-long, stone-masonry Byron Weston Dam No. 2. The dam structure includes a 23-foot high, 75-foot-long spillway, which comprises the majority of the dam. The Project reservoir extends 700 feet upriver where it meets the Byron Weston Dam No.1. The headpond has a total surface area of 0.94 acres at the normal maximum reservoir elevation of 1,116.7 feet mean sea level (FMSL), containing a gross storage of 3.1 acre-feet.
  • An existing intake structure equipped with trashracks and a headgate. The water passes through the headgate to an existing 50-foot-long, 9.5-foot-wide headrace canal. The headrace canal will convey flow to a new 15-foot-long, 4.4-foot-diameter penstock leading to a 0.25 MW turbine-generating unit within the existing Byron Weston Defiance Mill building. The unit is a vertically oriented double regulated Kaplan turbine manufactured by Canadian Hydro Components Ltd. for installation at the project site. The turbine can operate as low as 20-cfs. The rated flow is 133-cfs, whereas the maximum Flow is 170-cfs.
  • A 12-inch low-level outlet pipe that provides the means to divert flow from the headrace during times when the turbine is out-of-service.
  • A draft tube within the existing tailrace approximately 35-feet downstream of the dam.
  • A bypass reach approximately 35-feet long configured to create a backwater at the toe of the spillway.

The Project operates in ROR mode year round. Inflows to the Project must pass either through the power plant intake or over the spillway. Inflows into the intake can pass through the turbine or through the low-level outlet. The power plant is located adjacent to the dam/spillway; therefore, there is no significant bypass reach. The Project is not required to release a minimum flow.

Certification History

April 5, 2017: On April 4, 2017, LIHI Executive Director Shannon Ames announced a Preliminary Certification Decision that the Byron Weston Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 13583) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. The Byron Weston certification includes the following condition:

Condition 1. The owner shall complete the Wheel Turbine Relocation Plan and notice FERC and LIHI of that action within 90 days after LIHI certification.

This application was processed under the 2014 edition of the LIHI Handbook because the application materials were received prior to 2016. As provided for in Section 2.14 of the LIHI 2014 Edition Handbook, the Preliminary Certification Decision, along with the Application Reviewer’s report and (if prepared) report of the Executive Director, will be posted on the Institute’s web page for 30 days. Notice of the posting will be provided to all individuals or organizations that commented on the initial Application Package.

Any Commenter may submit a letter to the Executive Director requesting an appeal within the 30-day period beginning April 6, 2017 and ending on May 8, 2017.  The appeal request must state 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.  Further information about the LIHI appeal process is available in the LIHI Handbook, available HERE.

If no appeal is requested within the 30-day period, the Executive Director will issue LIHI Certification for the facility and post a notification of certification on the Institute’s website.  Once final, the effective certification date for the Byron Weston Project is December 29, 2016 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on December 29, 2021.

January 26, 2017: On December 29, 2016, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received a complete application from Crane and Company (Crane) for the Low Impact Certification of the Byron Weston project, FERC No. 13583, located on the East Branch of the Housatonic River in Dalton, Massachusetts – 7.97 miles upstream from the E. Branch/Main St. confluence at Fred Gardner Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

LIHI is seeking public comment on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Byron Weston project meets the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria. The Byron Weston application is subject to review using the Criteria in the LIHI Certification Handbook of 2014.  Please review the program and criteria in LIHI’s 2014 Handbook and then review the Project’s 2016 application materials posted on the project page. 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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Byron Weston Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, PO Box 194, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640. The 60 day public comment period begins on January 26, 2017.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on March 27, 2017 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.

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