Webster-Pembroke Project is located on River Mile 34 (of 36) on the Suncook River near Pembroke, New Hampshire. The project is located approximately one half mile upstream of the China Mill Dam and confluence of Suncook and Merrimack Rivers and approximately 16 miles downstream of the Pittsfield Mill Dam. The river runs for 35.7 miles, from the outlet of Crystal Lake in Gilmantown, New Hampshire through several small towns and rural areas to its confluence with the Merrimack in the town of Suncook. The river experienced heavy flooding in 2006, establishing a new route in several areas and resulting in the largest channel change in a New Hampshire river in systematic topographic mapping history. The flood also resulted in several safety changes, including the removal of several unoccupied dams on the river. The river is characterized by very high flow variations, from average lows of 3 CFS to record high of 13,000 CFS, with an average mean flow of 390 CFS. Fishing and kayaking (recreational, not whitewater,) are the two primary recreation uses of the Suncook River.
|Project Name||Webster Pembroke|
|LIHI Certificate No.||118|
|LIHI Certificate Term
||February 23, 2015 – February 23, 2020
Extended to August 31, 2020
|Owner||Pembroke Hydro Associates Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC|
|Location||Located at River Mile 34.25 on the Suncook River in New Hampshire.|
|Installed Capacity||2.6 MW|
|Average Annual Generation||10,100 MWh|
|FERC No.||P-3185 exempt 1983|
A series of active dam sites occur along the length of the Suncook River prior to its confluence with the Merrimack River. Although it is unclear exactly how many are active, their appears to be as many as 14 dam sites along the entire 36 miles of the river’s watershed, with the Webster-Pembroke facility being the second to last downstream prior to the confluence. Immediately downstream is the China Mill facility, a privately-owned 1.7 MW facility also located at a former mill site.
The Webster-Pembroke project technically consists of two dams, the Webster Dam as the primary impoundment and the Pembroke, a stone masonry dam located on the bypass section of the Suncook River receiving the minimum flow release and any spillage from the Webster Dam. The Pembroke Dam is located 1800 feet downstream of the Webster Dam, and the powerhouse is currently adjacent to the Pembroke Dam. The reservoir at Webster-Pembroke has a volume of 147 acre-feet, and a total surface area of 26 acres. Approximately 4.5 acres are occupied by non-reservoir facilities, including a 460 foot long, 8 foot diameter penstock and a powerhouse containing one horizontal Voith Kaplan turbine/generator that produces approximately 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy in a typical year.
Partial removal of the Pembroke Dam is currently being proposed, as detailed in a letter provided by Kleinschmidt Associates:
“The reason for the partial removal is to sufficiently eliminate any hazard from dam failure or damage to adjacent property resulting from impounded levels during high flow events. The proposed partial removal addresses the upstream impact caused by the dam during the project design flood flow (100- year storm). Further, analyses has indicated that failure of the remaining portion of the dam under flood flow conditions would not have any significant downstream impact.” Any impact of flow from this removal process will be studied under the flow requirements study in the MOA to be conducted in 2015.
The Pembroke project consists of utilizing the total hydrostatic head available between the headwater of the Webster Dam, with 4 feet of flashboards (elevation 278 NGVD), and the tailwater of the Pembroke Dam (elevation 226 NGVD) which utilizes a gross head of about 52 feet. Flows are diverted through the existing Webster Canal, through a 460-foot-long, 8-foot diameter, 3/8” welded steel penstock to a full Kaplan Turbine rated at 2,600 MW, located in the old Pembroke Powerhouse which is immediately downstream of the Pembroke Dam.
The Pembroke project is operated as a run-of-river facility. Outflows from the project equal inflows on an instantaneous basis, and water levels above the dam are maintained at the crest of the dam and are not drawn down for the purposes of generating power. The Pembroke project consists of a stone masonry gravity dam, a 460-foot-long penstock, a powerhouse, one generation unit and appurtenant project equipment. The exemptee is required to maintain a minimum flow of 9 cfs or inflow, whichever is less at all times through the roughly 1,400-foot-long bypass.
May 19, 2020: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact recertification of the Webster Pembroke Hydroelectric Project. The complete application can be found below.
LIHI is seeking public comment on this application. 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 “Webster Pembroke 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 July 18, 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.
May 11, 2015 – Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board and a full review of the Application Reviewer’s report and all public comments and additional materials provided by the Applicant, has determined that the Webster Pembroke Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 3185) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. The effective certification date for the Webster Pembroke Project is February 23, 2015 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on February 23, 2020, with the following conditions:
- Condition Satisfied in 2018. Condition 1: Facility owner shall complete the agreed upon water quality sampling in 2015, receive satisfactory determination from New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) that facility does not negatively impact water quality, and provide results to LIHI by December 31, 2015.
- Condition Satisfied in 2017. Condition 2: Facility owner will comply with updated fish passage installation plants in 2015 as specified in the MOA with USFWS, obtain written approval of any required modifications, and report results to LIHI by December 31, 2015.
- Condition 3: Facility owner will perform bypass flow study in consultation with USFWS and NHFG in 2015 and provide results to LIHI by December 31, 2015.
- Condition Satisfied in 2018. Condition 4: Facility owner will complete the Operations and Flow Monitoring Plan as required by MOA, obtain written approval by USFWS, and provide results to LIHI by December 31, 2015.
February 25, 2015 – The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received a timely and complete application on February 23, 2015 from Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC, for the Low Impact Certification of the Webster Pembroke Project, FERC P-3185.
- Webster Pembroke Reviewer’s Report 2015
- Webster Pembroke Application
- Appendix 1-1_Order Granting Exemption (Feb 24 1983)
- Appendix 1-2_Change of Ownership
- Appendix 3(a)_Location of Other Dams
- Appendix 3-1_Project Map
- Appendix A-1_Minimum Flow Compliance (2008-2012)
- Appendix C-1_Rqsts for Cmt from USFWS & NH F&G
- Appendix E-1_USFWS T&E Ltr (Jan 7, 2013)
- Appendix E-2_ NHB T&E Project Review
- Appendix E-3_ NHG Rqst for T&E Review
- Appendix F-1_Webster Pembroke NHDHR Review Rqst
- Appendix F-2_Webster-Pembroke NH DHR No Impact ltr
- Appendix G-1_Recreational Access Rqst to R.Fink, NH F&G
- Propose Revision of Dam Removal 11-12-14
- 2014-08-14 Fish Passage & Project Operations
- NH Fish & Game approval letter