LIHI Certificate #20 - Salmon River Project, New York

The Salmon River’s 285 square miles drainage basin is located in the north-central region of the state and is captured by the Salmon River Reservoir. This 3,550 acre, 66,000 acre-foot reservoir is operated by EBH to provide storage of spring runoff, flood mitigation, and low-flow augmentation for the remainder of the Salmon River.

The Salmon River Project consists of two existing developments located on the Salmon River in the Towns of Redfield and Orwell, Oswego, New York. The two developments progressing downstream towards Lake Ontario are: Bennetts Bridge dam at river mile 18 and Lighthouse Hill dam located at approximately river mile 13.8 from where the river meets Lake Ontario.

The installed capacity of the Salmon River Project is approximately 31.5 MW at Bennett's Bridge and 8.2 MW at Lighthouse Hill.

The Bennett's Bridge Development (Latitude: 43.54490 Longitude: -75.91897) has a total catchment of 285 square miles and consists of:

  • a 607-foot-long and 45-foot-high concrete gravity dam with a reinforced concrete intake structure 92 feet long by 39.5 feet wide by 53 feet high, The dam is comprised of a 107-foot-long non-overflow section with crest elevation at 942 feet (USGS), a 244 foot long un-gated spillway section with crest elevation at 935 feet, equipped with 2-foot-high flashboards, and a 256 foot long gated spillway section with crest elevation at 926 feet, with eleven 11.5-foot-high by 20-foot-wide Taintor gates;
  • an impoundment with gross storage capacity of 66,000 acre-feet, maximum surface area of 3,550 acres and normal maximum surface elevation at 937 feet;
  • three earth dikes 100, 1,330 and 695 feet long located along the south shore of the impoundment;
  • a 10,000 foot long conduit system consisting of (a) a concrete tunnel section 650 feet long and 12 feet in diameter; (b) a reinforced plastic pipeline section 7,790 feet long and 12 feet in diameter; (c) a steel pipeline section 1,200 feet long and 11.5 feet in diameter; (d) a differential surge tank 105 feet high; (e) a steel distributor 200 feet long and 12 feet in diameter; and (f) four steel penstocks, each 330 feet long and 8 feet in diameter, with associate shut-off and air valves;
  • a concrete/brick/steel powerhouse 206 feet long and 70 feet wide, containing four turbine-generator units with a total installed capacity of about 28.750 MW;
  • Three existing 12-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines with a total length of 17,300 feet and appurtenant facilities.

The nearly 2-mile long penstock conveys water to a powerhouse containing four horizontal generating units. Water is released into a 950-foot-long tailrace channel that enters the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir. The Bennett’s Bridge Development is a seasonal store and release facility that operates in a peaking mode.

According to the applicant, the Salmon River Project is in compliance with resource agency recommendations issued after December 31, 1986 regarding flow conditions.  The FERC license, Settlement Agreement, and 401 WQC include the requirements for flow releases and water level control recommended by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other signatories to the Settlement Agreement.  Article 401 of the Salmon River License is posted below and lists all flow and water level related recommendations.

Project Name Salmon River
LIHI Certificate No. 20
LIHI Certificate Term November 14, 2013 - November 14, 2021
Owner Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. (Brookfield Renewable Energy Group)
State New York
Location Located between river mile 13.8 and 18 on Salmon River in the towns of Redfield and Orwell, Oswego, New York.
Installed Capacity Total: 36.25 MW Bennett’s Bridge: 28.75 MW Lighthouse Hill: 7.5 MW
Average Annual Generation 144,960 MWh
Facility Type Bennett’s Bridge: Seasonal store and release that operates in a peaking mode. Lighthouse Hill: Store and release that operates in re-regulating mode.
FERC No. P-11408 issued 1996, expires 2036

Certification History

December 8, 2014: The Salmon River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 11408), LIHI Certificate No. 20 has been determined by the Executive Director, Michael J. Sale to satisfy the requirements of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) Certification Program. The decision to certify the Salmon River Hydroelectric Project is for an 8-year term, effective November 14, 2013 and expiring November 14, 2021.

November 18, 2013: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. has submitted an application for recertification of the Salmon River Project. Due to an administrative backlog, the current certificate has been granted a three month extension beyond the expiration date of November 14, 2013.

March 28, 2006: The Salmon River Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for an eight year term, effective November 14, 2005 and expiring November 14, 2013.

November 14, 2005: An application for certification of the Salmon River Hydroelectric project was submitted.