LIHI Certificate #16 - Winooski One/Chace Mill Hydroelectric Project, Vermont

The Project facility is located at lower Winooski Falls on the Winooski River ten miles upstream of its confluence with Lake Champlain, between the city of Winooski, on the north bank, and the city of Burlington, on the south bank. This run-of-river facility has a refurbished spillway with crest gates abutting a historic timber crib dam that dates from 1876.  The dam is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Winooski Falls Mill District. There are two plant species listed by the state as threatened and endangered in the vicinity of the project that were the subject of mitigation and protection activities at the time of the facility’s construction. The applicant also constructed fish passage facilities and a riverside park and trail as part of the project.

The Project, constructed in 1991-93, consists of a 200-foot-long, 35-foot-high concrete dam situated immediately downstream and abutting the timber-crib dam surmounted by a 100-foot-long, eight-foot-high bascule gate with crest elevation of 136 feet NGVD; a 36-foot-long bascule gate located at the right abutment; a 5.7 acre reservoir; a 70-foot-long intake powerhouse containing one 6.5 MW turbine generator; a 45-foot-wide, 125-foot-long tailrace; a fish trap facility; a riverside park; an underground transmission cable; and an access road.  Project owner Winooski One Partners leases the site and water rights from the City of Burlington. The City of Burlington has the option to buy the facility in the 20th year of the license; the license is held jointly by Winooski One Partners and the city.

Project Name Winooski One/Chace Mill
LIHI Certificate No. 16
LIHI Certificate Term July 29, 2019 - July 28, 2027
Owner Burlington Electric Dept.
State Vermont
Location Located at river mile 10 at the lower Winooski Falls on the Winooski River
Installed Capacity 7.455 MW
Average Annual Generation 30,000 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. P-2756 issued 1988, expires 2028

Certification History

February 26, 2020:  The decision to recertify the Winooski One/Chace Mill Project became final after the close of the appeals period on February 7, 2020 with no appeals filed.  The Certification term is from July 29, 2019 – July 28, 2027.

January 8, 2020: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Recertification for the Winooski One/Chace Mill Hydroelectric Project, LIHI #16. There is one condition on the Certificate.

Condition 1:   Since the Project will begin relicensing during the new LIHI Certification term, the facility Owner shall provide to LIHI as part of the annual compliance report, a status report of the FERC licensing progress listing significant agency interactions that have occurred in the past year that are relevant to any LIHI criteria, and highlighting major topics of agreement or disagreement.  LIHI reserves the right to request additional details if necessary, if highlighted topics are relevant to the LIHI criteria and their associated goals. LIHI also reserves the right to modify the Certificate conditions again if needed.

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 “Winooski One/Chace Mill 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 February 7, 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 29, 2019 to August 5, 2027.

October 21, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Recertification of the Winooski One 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 “Winooski One 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 December 20, 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.

August 27, 2014: The LIHI Governing Board has determined that the Winooski One Project continues to meet the LIHI Certification Criteria, with an effective certification date of July 29, 2014. It is a five year term that will expire on July 29, 2019.

April 17, 2014: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received an application for recertification of the Winooski One Project. The current term is scheduled to expire on July 29, 2014. The 2014 application can be found in the “Files” section below.

November 19, 2009: LIHI’s Governing Board has determined that the Winooski One Hydroelectric Project continues to meet the Certification Criteria, and has been recertified for a five year term, effective July 29, 2009 and expiring July 29, 2014.

June 1, 2009: The Winooski One Partnership has filed an application to re-certify the Winooski One Hydroelectric Project, located in the cities of Burlington and Winooski in Chittenden County, Vermont. The original certification is set to expire July 29, 2009.

October 21, 2004: The Winooski One Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective July 29, 2004 and expiring July 29, 2009.

Files

2019 Recertification

2015 Recertification

2009 Recertification

2004 Certification