Rumford Falls Hydro Project is the second Maine Project to Earn LIHI Certification

The project is located on the Androscoggin River in the town of Rumford, in Oxford County, Maine. The Rumford Falls Project consists of two discrete hydropower developments, the Upper Station Development and the Lower Station Development. The upper station and the lower station developments each have a total installed nameplate capacity of 26.55 MW and 12.8 MW, respectively, totaling 39.35 MW; the project’s maximum hydraulic capacity is 7,300 cubic feet per second (cfs); and the average annual project generation is about 270,302 MWh.

Project Name Rumford Falls
LIHI Certificate Number 38
LIHI Effective and
Expiration Dates
December 10, 2013
December 10, 2018Extended to June 30, 2019
Owner Brookfield Renewable Energy Group
State Maine
Location Located on the Androscoggin River in the town of Rumford, in Oxford County, Maine.
Installed Capacity Total: 44.5 MW
Upper Station: 29.3 MW
Lower Station: 15.2 MW
Average Annual Generation Total: 291,537 MWh
Upper Station: 182,562 MWh
Lower Station: 108,975 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. 2333

The Upper Station Development consists of:

1) a concrete gravity dam, having a 464-foot-long by 37-foot-high ogee type spillway section, with a crest elevation of 598.74 feet U.S. Geological Survey datum (USGS), topped with 2.5-foot-high, pin-supported, wooden flashboards;

2) a forebay about 2,300 feet long by 150 feet wide;

3) a gatehouse with eight headgates, (two headgates for each of the four penstocks), trashracks, and other equipment;

4) four underground steel-plate penstocks, each about 110 feet long, three of which are 12 feet in diameter, and one 13 feet in diameter;

5) a masonry powerhouse integral with the dam, occupying two adjoining sections of the dam: the Old Station, about 30 feet wide by 120 feet long by 92 feet high, equipped with one horizontal generating unit with capacity of 4,050 kilowatts (kW), and the New Station, about 60 feet wide, by 140 feet long, by 76 feet high, equipped with three vertical generating units–two with capacity of 7,650 kW each, and one with capacity of 7,200 kW;

6) an impoundment, with gross storage capacity of 2,900 acre-feet, surface area of about 419 acres, normal maximum headwater elevation of 601.24 feet, and tailwater elevation of 502.74 feet.

The Lower Station Development consists of:

1) a rock-filled, wooden-cribbed, and concrete-capped Middle Dam, having a 328.6-foot-long by 20-foot-high gravity spillway section, with a crest elevation at 501.74 feet, topped with 1.0-foot-high pin-supported wooden flashboards;

2) a Middle Canal concrete headgate structure, located adjacent to the dam, about 120 feet long, with 10 steel headgates, and a waste weir section perpendicular to the headgate structure, about 120 feet long, with a crest elevation of 501.6 feet; topped with 10-inch-high flashboards;

3) a Middle Canal, about 2,400 feet long, with width ranging from 75 to 175 feet, and depth from 8 to 11 feet;

4) a gatehouse containing two headgates, trashracks, and other equipment;

5) two 12-foot-diameter, steel-plate penstocks, each extending about 815

feet to two cylindrical surge tanks, each about 36 feet in diameter by 50.5 feet high, and the penstocks continuing 77 feet to the powerhouse;

6) a masonry powerhouse, equipped with two identical vertical units each 6,400 kW capacity; and,

The Applicant operates the project in a run-of-river mode for the protection of water quality and aquatic habitat. Water levels in the upper and middle impoundments are maintained within 1.0 foot of full pond elevation.

Certification History

May 21, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Rumford Falls 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 “Rumford Falls 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 June 20, 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 December 10, 2018 through December 9, 2023.

March 13, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Recertification of the Rumford Falls 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 “Rumford Falls 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 May 12, 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.

November 18, 2014:  Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has determined that the Rumford Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2333) continues to meet the LIHI Certification Criteria.  The effective date of the certificate is December 10, 2013, and the certificate will expire on December 10, 2018.

November 18, 2013: Brookfield Renewable Energy Group has submitted an application for a second term of certification of the Rumford Falls Hydroelectric Project. The application was received on October 30, 2013, but due to administrative backlog, the project was granted a two month extension beyond the current expiration date of December 10, 2013 to allow time for the complete review of the application.

May 6, 2009: The Rumford Falls Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective December 10, 2008 and expiring December 10, 2013.


2019 Recertification:

2013 Recertification:

2009 Certification: