LIHI Certificate #160 – Canaan Project, New Hampshire/Vermont

The Canaan Hydroelectric Project is located on the upper Connecticut River in the towns of Canaan, VT, and Stewartstown, (West Stewartstown Village) NH. It is situated at river mile 370, 10 miles below Murphy Dam at Lake Francis and 82 miles above Moore Dam. The run-of-river plant is operated automatically as a base load unit generating power whenever adequate river flows are available. The Project is owned and operated by Central Rivers Power NH, LLC.

The concrete gravity dam is approximately 275 feet long and 18 feet tall, located on the Connecticut River in Stewartstown, NH approximately ¼ mile upstream of West Stewartstown Village. A concrete section is located at the south abutment and is 56 feet wide with stoplogs supported by steel stanchions. The main spillway is a concrete gravity, ogee-shaped section approximately 150 feet long and equipped with 3.5 feet high pipe-supported flashboards. A waste gate is located to the right of the main spillway. It consists of a 20-foot wide concrete sluiceway equipped with an electrically operated 15-foot high steel tainter gate.

A steel penstock, 1,360 feet long with diameter of 9 feet, and two steel surge tanks, 15′ 4″ in diameter and 21′ 4″ in height, convey water to the powerhouse located about 200 feet downstream of the surge tanks. These facilities are all located in Canaan, Vermont. The powerhouse contains a single vertical Francis turbine with 1.1 MW capacity.

The bypassed reach is approximately 1,600 feet long and composed of ledge, cobble, and boulders. The current minimum flow requirements under the existing license are to release a 165-cfs minimum flow into the bypassed reach year-round.

Project Name Canaan
LIHI Certificate No. 160
LIHI Certificate Term May 2, 2019 - May 1, 2024
Owner Central Rivers Power NH, LLC
State New Hampshire
Location River Mile 370 on the Connecticut River in NH and VT
Installed Capacity 1.1 MW
Average Annual Generation 6,189 MWh (5-year average)
Facility Type Run of river
FERC No. P-7528 issued 2009, expires 2039

Certification History

September 4, 2019: The decision to certify the Canaan Hydroelectric Project is final. No appeals were received during the appeal period which closed on September 1, 2019. The certification term for the Project is from May 2, 2019 through May 1, 2024. The Certificate includes one condition

  • Satisfied in 2020. Condition 1: Upon completion of the current water year (Oct. 1, 2018 – Sep. 30, 2019), the Facility Owner shall provide operations data to VDEC that documents run of river compliance. The Facility Owner shall submit the data to VDEC by December 31, 2019 and provide any response from the agency in the first annual compliance submittal to LIHI.

August 2, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Canaan 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 “Canaan 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 September 1, 2019.  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 (pending LIHI #160) will be May 2, 2019 for a term of five (5) years, which will expire on May 1, 2024.

May 3, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Certification of the Canaan 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 “Canaan 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 2, 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.