LIHI Certificate #199 - Hailesboro No. 6 Project, New York
|Project Name||Hailesboro No. 6|
|LIHI Certificate No.
|LIHI Certificate Term
||February 3, 2023 – February 2, 2033|
|Owner||Hydro Development Group Acquisition, LLC – a subsidiary of Patriot Hydro. LLC|
|Location||River Mile 68 on the Oswegatchie River, St. Lawrence County, New York|
|Installed Capacity||0.9 MW|
|Average Annual Generation||4,728 MWh|
|Facility Type||Run of river|
|FERC No.||P-3181. Exemption issued September 17, 1981.|
The Hailesboro No. 6 Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 3181) is located on the Oswegatchie River in St. Lawrence County, New York. The 132-mile long Oswegatchie River is located in the St. Lawrence River watershed. The headwaters of the Oswegatchie River are in the Adirondack Mountains and the river flows generally to the west and then north before flowing into the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg, New York.
The project is located at river mile (RM) 68.2 and is the 8th dam upstream from the mouth, and the most upstream of three associated projects that also include Hailesboro No. 4 (LIHI #198) and Hailesboro No. 3 (LIHI #197). The river is split into three branches upstream (Island Branch) and between the Projects that recombine downstream of Hailesboro No. 3.
The project was originally constructed around 1930 and operates under an exemption issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on September 17, 1981.
The project consists of:
- a 10-foot-high and 150-foot-long reinforced concrete gravity overflow-type dam with a crest elevation of 487 ft National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD);
- a reservoir with a surface area of 4 acres and negligible storage capacity at normal surface elevation of 487 feet NGVD that creates a short bypassed reach approximately 420 feet long;
- a 40-foot-wide and 70-foot-long intake structure with gates and trashracks along the south (left) bank;
- a powerhouse containing two turbines connected to two generators with a combined capacity of 900 kW;
- a short tailrace discharging to the Hailesboro No. 4 impoundment;
- electrical switchgear, a 75-foot-long 2.3-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, and appurtenant facilities.
The Project operates in a run-of-river mode with inflow approximating outflow and minimal fluctuations in impoundment water surface elevation. Impoundment water spills into the bypassed reach under normal most operating conditions via a notch in the dam. There are no recommendations or requirements for a minimum flow in the bypassed reach which is short and bedrock-based with little aquatic habitat.
The Oswegatchie River in the vicinity of the project is designated as Class A water. The best usages of Class A waters are as a source of water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes, primary and secondary contact recreation, and fishing. The project reaches are not listed as impaired by NY Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and run-of-river operations do not affect water quality.
There are no migratory fish in the project reaches due to the presence of several downstream dams as well as natural falls that block upstream fish movement. Resident fisheries of the Oswegatchie River in the Project vicinity consist of a mix of warm and cool water species. The most abundant species captured during the surveys were rock bass, fallfish, and pumpkinseed. The low intake approach velocity of 1.66 ft/second allows most fish to avoid entrainment in the turbines. In addition, many smaller fish that might not be able to outswim the approach velocities are often small enough to avoid turbine blade strikes and pass through a powerhouse unharmed.
Project lands encompass about 4 acres for the impoundment and a negligible amount of land surrounding the facility. There are no lands of ecological significance and no critical habitats located in the vicinity. The run-of-river operations limit fluctuations in impoundment water surface elevation that otherwise could contribute to shoreline erosion.
The only threatened or endangered species that could be present in the project vicinity is the Northern long-eared bat. Several migratory birds may be present in the Project areas and include belted kingfisher, black-billed cuckoo, chimney swift, golden-winged warbler, and wood thrush. The project’s small footprint and lack of need to cut trees limit any potential impacts to sensitive species.
There are no known aboveground or archaeological resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in the Project area. No traditional cultural properties have been identified. However, due to the age of the dam and powerhouse, it is possible that they could be eligible for listing, subject to determination of historical relevance.
There are no recreation facilities or public access locations at the impoundment. The bypassed reach is short and contains no recreation facilities or access locations, as the area is surrounded by forested private property which limits access. Recreational access is available upstream in the Fowler Project’s (FERC No. 6059) downstream reach, and just downstream of the project in the Hailesboro No. 4 impoundment.
The Certificate includes the following facility-specific condition:
Condition 1. In the event any archaeological or historic resources are found during operation and maintenance of the Hailesboro No. 6 Project, the facility Owner shall consult with the SHPO to ensure continued Project operation and maintenance activities will not have an adverse effect on the documented sites. In its annual compliance submittals to LIHI, the Owner shall inform LIHI of any agency consultation that has occurred and report on any issues or concerns raised by the SHPO.
2023: Annual reporting for the current Certificate has not yet taken effect.
June 6, 2023: The Certification of the Hailesboro No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 projects is now final after the close of the appeal period on June 3, 2023, with no appeal requests filed. The certification term for each project is February 3, 2023 through February 2, 2033.
May 4, 2023: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Hailesboro No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 Hydroelectric Projects. The full application and reviewer’s report are available below. This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented on the initial applications during the 60-day comment period are eligible to file an appeal. Such appeal needs to include an explanation as to how the Projects do not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Hailesboro Projects” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476. All requests will be posted to the website. The applicant will have an opportunity to respond and any response will also be posted. Requests must be received by 5 pm Eastern time on June 3, 2023.
February 7, 2023: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Certification of the Hailesboro No. 3, 4, & 6 Hydroelectric Project. LIHI is seeking public comment on this application. Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Project meets the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria, as revised in the 2nd Edition Handbook. Please review the program and criteria in LIHI’s revised Handbook and then review the Project’s application materials 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 email@example.com with “Hailesboro 3, 4, & 6 Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476. Comments must be received on or before 5 pm Eastern time on April 8, 2023 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.
- Hailesboro No. 3, 4, 6 – Certification Review Report 2023
- Hailesboro No. 3, 4, 6 – Certification Application 2022