LIHI Certificate #153 – Gorham Project, New Hampshire

The Gorham Hydroelectric Project is located on the Androscoggin River in northern New Hampshire in Coos County, in the town of Gorham. The Project is one of seven hydroelectric projects within an 11-mile reach of the Androscoggin River between Berlin and Shelburne, New Hampshire. There are five hydroelectric projects within 8-river-miles upstream of the Gorham Project; the Shelburne Project is approximately 2.8-river-miles downstream of the Gorham Project. The Gorham Project is owned by HSE Hydro NH, LLC and operated by Central Rivers Power NH, LLC.

Project Description:

The Gorham Project consists of an impoundment, dam, powerhouse, tailrace channel, transmission lines, transformers, and appurtenant facilities. The general Project area extends from the dam downstream approximately 2,070 feet and upstream approximately 4,700 feet.  The Project operates as an un-manned, run-of-river facility with no impoundment fluctuations. A continuous minimum flow of 200 cfs is released from the dam.

The dam is a timber crib, L-shaped dam, 417 feet long and about 20 feet high, with three sections, each topped with flashboards of varying heights. An earthen power canal conveys water from the impoundment to the powerhouse and is approximately 415 feet long by 60 feet wide and 20 feet deep.  The powerhouse contains two 400-kW Allis-Chalmers generators driven by two 583-horsepower (hp) S. Morgan Smith vertical, Francis-type turbines, and two 675-kW Allis-Chalmers generators driven by two 1,000-hp Allis-Chalmers vertical, propeller-type turbines, totaling a maximum hydraulic capacity of about 2,800 cfs, at an operating head of approximately 18 feet.

Project Name Gorham
LIHI Certificate No. 153
LIHI Certification Term March 29, 2019 - March 28, 2024
Owner Central Rivers Power NH, LLC
State New Hampshire
Location River mile 118.5 on the Androscoggin River in Gorham NH
Installed Capacity 2.15 MW
Average Annual Generation 10,727 MWh
Facility Type Run of river
FERC No. P-2288 issued 1994, expires 2048

Certification History

July 23, 2019: The decision to certify the Gorham Hydroelectric Project is final. No appeals were received during the appeal period which closed on July 18, 2019. The new certification term for the Project is from March 29, 2019 through March 28, 2024. The Certification includes one condition:

  • Partially Satisfied 2021 Condition 1: If the Facility Owner completes water quality studies during the certification term, results shall be provided to LIHI in annual compliance submittals along with NHDES approval of results. LIHI reserves the right to modify or revoke the certification if the water quality results demonstrate that the Project contributes adversely to water quality standards.

June 18, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Gorham Hydroelectric Project.

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 “Gorham 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 July 18, 2019.  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 March 29, 2019 for a five (5) year term which will expire on March 28, 2024.

April 2, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Certification of the Gorham 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 “Gorham 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 June 1, 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.