Lexington, Mass. (September 22, 2017) – On August 25, 2017, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received a complete application from Enel Green Power North America, Inc. for the Low Impact Certification of the Lowell Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 2790, located on the Merrimack River in Massachusetts.

LIHI is seeking comment on the Lowell application for certification. 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 “Lowell Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2, Lexington, MA 02420.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on November 22, 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.


Project Description

This 24.8 MW, run-of-river Facility is located on the Merrimack River in the City of Lowell, Massachusetts. The Facility includes a 1,093 foot-long, 15 foot-high stone-masonry gravity dam that impounds a 720 acre reservoir and maintains a normal maximum water surface elevation of 92.2 ft NVGD 1929. The project includes a primary powerhouse and four power stations in mill buildings along the downtown canal system. The Facility received its FERC License (#2790) on April 13, 1983, and commenced operations in 1986. Upstream and downstream fish passage facilities include a fish elevator and downstream fish bypass at the E.L. Field powerhouse, and a vertical-slot fish ladder at the Pawtucket Dam. All fish passage facilities were designed in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Passage operations are supervised by the state and federal fishery agencies. The project maintains a minimum flow of 1,990 cfs by operating the project in run-of-river mode using pond level control at the E.L. Field powerhouse. Flow control and habitat enhancement are provided by a pneumatic crest gate which is due to be completed by the end of 2017.







Project Name Lowell
Owner Boott Hydropower, LLC, a subsidiary of Enel Green
Power North America, Inc.
State Massachusetts
Location Lowell

River mile 40.8

Merrimack River

Installed Capacity 24.8 MW
Average Annual Generation 88,530 MWh
Facility Type run-of-river
FERC No. 2790