New York

The Hoosic River Project is located in upstate New York northeast of Albany and Troy in Rensselaer County. The project consists of two developments licensed as FERC Project 2616. The total project has an installed capacity of 18.5 MW and produces an average annual generation (AAE) of 83,000 MWh . Both developments operate in a peaking mode.

Project Name Hoosic River
LIHI Certificate Number 13
LIHI Effective and
Expiration Dates
July 9, 2014 to July 9, 2019

Extended to November 30, 2019

Owner Brookfield Renewable Energy Group
State New York
Location Located on the Hoosic River in upstate New York, northeast of Albany and Troy.
Installed Capacity Total: 18.5 MW
Johnsonville: 2.1 MW
Schaghticoke: 16.4 MW
Average Annual Generation 83,000 MWh
Facility Type Peaking
FERC No. 2616

Project operations follow the flow requirements and reservoir target elevations as defined in the FERC License which requires a continuous year-round base flow below Schaghticoke and base flows below both developments while operating within daily reservoir fluctuation limits.

Johnsonville Development

The Johnsonville Development has a total catchment of 606 square miles and consists of:

  • a 39-foot-high, 529-foot-long concrete gravity dam topped with 2.5-foot-high wooden flashboards;
  • a reservoir with a 450-acre surface area and gross storage of 6,430 acre-feet;
  • a sluice gate;
  • a forebay structure;
  • an intake structure equipped with 1-inch clear-spaced vertical trashracks;
  • a powerhouse immediately adjacent to the dam containing two turbine generators with a total installed capacity of 2.1 megawatts (MW).

Schaghticoke Development 

The Schaghticoke Development has a total catchment of 619 square miles and consists of:

  • a 28-foot-high, 700-foot- long concrete gravity dam topped with 2.5 foot-high wooden flashboards and a pneumatic gate section9;
  • a reservoir with a 150-acre surface area and gross storage of 1,150 acre-feet;
  • a 2,300 foot-long open canal;
  • a set of forebay intake gates;
  • a forebay;
  • a pipeline intake equipped with 0-inch clear-spaced vertical  trashracks;
  • an 820 foot-long, 12.5- foot-diameter steel pipeline. This pipeline directs water from the forebay downward to the bypassed reach. It passes over the bypassed reach by the means of a support bridge, then heads up the other side of the river overbank to a surge tank;
  • a surge tank;
  • five penstocks directing water from the surge tank to the powerhouse;
  • a powerhouse containing four turbine generators with a total installed capacity of 16.4 MW. The canal, forebay, pipeline, and penstocks create a two-mile bypassed reach between the dam and the powerhouse.

Certification History

December 3, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Recertification for the Hoosic River Hydroelectric Project, LIHI #13. The Certification includes two conditions:

Condition 1: Within one year from the effective date of this re-certification, the Owner shall notify LIHI of its final decision about whether or not the Johnsonville flashboards will be replaced. Consideration must be given to the environmental and recreational impacts associated with continued absence of the flashboards, especially to use of the public boat launch site required by the FERC license. If it is determined that the flashboards will be replaced, the notification shall include a copy of the notification to FERC, the Owner’s schedule for submission of the flashboard failure design for FERC approval and the schedule for reinstallation. If the decision is to not replace the flashboards, the notification shall include an assessment of the effects of this “material change” in Project operations on applicable LIHI criteria and how access will be accommodated at the Johnsonville boat launch. LIHI reserves the right to modify the Project certification pending results of the assessment.

Condition 2: The Owner shall post a sign by April 1, 2020, at the access area used by whitewater boaters at the Schaghticoke bypass providing, at a minimum: the phone number to call for access, that access is allowed between sunrise and two hours before sunset, and the required flow conditions for access (flow of at least 1,920 cfs at USGS river gage at Eagle Bridge (gage no. 01334500). A meeting with American Whitewater to discuss the release program shall be conducted by April 1, 2020, with a commitment to hold such meetings every five years thereafter in accordance with the Settlement Agreement. Annual reporting to FERC required under license article 406 shall also be resumed.  Copies of all correspondence, meeting notes, and confirmation of sign installation shall be submitted to LIHI in the next annual compliance submittal due in July 2020, and copies of future meeting notes and FERC filings shall be submitted in annual compliance statements thereafter.

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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Hoosic River Hydroelectric 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 January 2, 2020.  The full application and reviewers report are available below.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Project will be from July 9, 2019 to July 8, 2024.

September 4, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Recertification of the Hoosic River 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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Hoosic River 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 November 3, 2019 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.

February 20, 2015 – The Hoosic River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2616), LIHI Certificate No. 13 has been determined by the Executive Director, Michael J. Sale to satisfy the requirements of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) Certification Program. The Hoosic River Project is located on the Hoosic River in upstate New York, northeast of Albany and Troy.

In rendering this Certification, the Institute’s Executive Director used authority delegated by the LIHI Governing Board and the unanimous recommendation by the LIHI Governing Board Technical Committee resulting from a full review of the Application Reviewer’s report and all public comments and additional materials provided by the Applicant.  The decision to certify the Hoosic River Hydroelectric Project is for a 5-year term, effective July 9, 2014 and expiring July 9, 2019, with the following condition:

“The potential for ice buildup in the head pond stilling well and the hydraulic controls of the pneumatic gate on the Schaghticoke spillway is a recurring issue at the Hoosic River facility. Therefore, one new condition is added to the LIHI certificate:

Condition satisfied in 2018. Condition 1.  The facility owner shall develop a proactive procedure that can be followed during the winter season to prevent ice buildup problems at their facilities and to reduce the occurrence of water level or flow violations that have been evident in the past. A final report documenting the improved operating procedures will be provided to LIHI along with the first annual compliance letter following recertification. If similar violations of water level or flow requirements occur in future years, they shall be reported in the annual compliance letters to LIHI.  These annual reports shall contain copies of any pertinent correspondence and documents, as well as a description of any corrective actions taken.

April 17, 2014: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute received an application for a third term of certification of the Hoosic River Project. The current certificate term is scheduled to expire on July 9, 2014.

April 15, 2010: The Hoosic River Project has been certified for a second five year term of low impact certification, effective July 9, 2009 and expiring July 9, 2014.

October 21, 2004: The Hoosic River Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective July 9, 2004 and expiring July 9, 2009.


Files:

2019 Recertification

2014 Recertification

2004 Certification