LIHI Certificate #115 – Glendale Project, Massachusetts

March 24, 2020 – COVID-19 Update: Gravity Renewables Inc. has notified FERC of the decision to close recreational facilities to protect staff and ensure resources are directed toward critical infrastructure needs and to increase security around the Glendale plant.

The Glendale Project consists of:  (a) a 250-foot-long, 30-foot-high concrete gravity dam with a 182-foot-long spillway and a gatehouse containing two manually-operated 10- by 10-footsquare canal intake gates and a waste gate slot equipped with two 8- by 8-foot-square waste gates; (b) a new 165-kW turbine generating unit downstream of the gatehouse equipped with new trash racks with 1-inch clear spacing; (c) a 23-acre reservoir with a normal water surface elevation of 810.9 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD); (d) a 1,500-foot-long, 40foot-wide intake canal; (e) a forebay structure (with trash racks with 1-inch clear bar spacing) and one hydraulically-operated canal waste gate; (f) a 250-foot-long, 12-foot-diameter steel penstock; (g) a powerhouse with four identical turbine generating units with a combined installed capacity of 1,140 kW; (h) a 300-foot-long tailrace channel; (i) a 2,500 foot long bypass reach between the dam and the tailrace; (j) step-up transformer and 83-foot-long, 13.8-kilovolt transmission line; (k) a canoe portage with associated parking; and (l) appurtenant facilities.

The project’s powerhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering and industrial uses from 1900 to 1924. The canoe portage extends from the north impoundment shore near the canal gatehouse along the north shore of the canal, across the canal bridge and down the south canal dike to the bypass reach. The access at the bypassed reach serves as both a put-in site for canoeists and an access point for bank fishing. The dam access road from Glendale Road (Route 183) is used to access a parking area adjacent to the canal. The parking area serves those using the canoe portage as well as those using the bypassed reach access for bank fishing.

Project Name Glendale
LIHI Certificate No. 115
LIHI Certificate Term

April 1, 2019 - Mach 31, 2024

Owner Hitchcock Hydro, LLC
State Massachusetts
Location Located at river mile 122 on the Housatonic River in the town of Stockbridge, Berkshire County, MA.
Installed Capacity 1.14 MW
Average Annual Generation 5,000 MWH
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. P-2801 issued 2009, expires 2049

Project Operation

The Glendale Project operates four identical turbine generator units with each unit’s minimum hydraulic capacity equal to 55 cfs and maximum hydraulic capacity equal to 100 cfs.  The Glendale Project provides a continuous minimum flow of 90 cfs or inflow, if less, into the bypass river reach for the protection and enhancement of fish and aquatic life habitat.  River flows above the required bypass flow are used for generation.  The Glendale Project is operated in a run-of-river mode through use of an automatic pond level control.  The project currently maintains compliance with the 90 cfs bypass minimum flow requirement via flows over the spillway crest.  Upon completion of the new minimum flow unit which has a hydraulic capacity of 90cfs, bypass flows will be maintained through the new unit. Bypass flows will be supplied over the spillway when the unit is non-operational or through an automated bypass gate programmed to open upon the unit being taken off-line. All inflow in excess of the total maximum hydraulic capacity of the four turbine generating units and minimum flow unit (490 cfs) is passed over the dam.  The project reservoir is not normally drawn below the dam crest.  As required by the FERC operation license and state WQC, during refilling of the project reservoir after dam maintenance or emergency drawdown, the project is operated such that 90% of inflow to the project is released below the project and the impoundment is refilled on the remaining 10% of inflow.

Certification History

March 31, 2020: The decision to recertify the Glendale Project became final after the close of the appeals period on March 27, 2020 with no appeals filed. The Certification term is from April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2024. There is one condition on the certificate:

  • Condition 1:The Facility Owner shall comply with the four conditions listed in the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s letter dated November 19, 2019 submitted as part of the LIHI application. The Owner shall summarize any activities related to those conditions in annual compliance submittals.

February 26, 2020: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved recertification of the Glendale Project for a new five-year term.

This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented on the initial application during the 60-day comment period are eligible to file an appeal. Such appeal needs to include an explanation as to how the Project does not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to with “Glendale Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 6, Lexington, MA 02420. 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 March 27, 2020. The full application and reviewer’s report are available below.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Project will be April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2024.

December 16, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Recertification of the Glendale 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 with “Glendale Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 6, Lexington, MA 02420.  Comments must be received on or before 5 pm Eastern time on February 14, 2020 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.

June 23, 2014: The Glendale Project is certified as low impact for a five-year term effective April 1, 2014 and expiring April 1, 2019.

May 30, 2014: Public comment period on application is closed.

May 28, 2014: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute received a comment letter from Dennis Regan of the Housatonic Valley Association regarding the certification of the Glendale Project.

April 1, 2014: Littleville Power Company, Inc., a subsidiary of ENEL Green Power North America, submitted an application for the certification of the Glendale Project; public comment period opened.