LIHI Certificate #46 - Ashuelot & Lower Robertson Project, New Hampshire
The Lower Robertson and Ashuelot Hydroelectric Projects - are located on the Ashuelot River in Winchester, NH, off Route 119 between the village of Ashuelot and the Town of Hinsdale. The Lower Robertson facility is easily visible from Route 119 and is approximately 1 mile upstream of Ashuelot, which is located at 80 Lost Road, an unmarked road off of Route 119.
Both projects have FERC Exemptions that were issued on July 31, 1986. The Lower Robertson Hydroelectric Project, operates under FERC Exemption No. 8235 and Ashuelot River Hydroelectric Project operates under FERC Exemption No. 7791. Both projects are small, low head, run-of-river hydro plants built in the mid 1980's at existing paper company dams. The Applicant purchased the projects in 2007 and has operated them ever since.The run-of-river Lower Robertson Project consists of:
- an 18-foot-high by 125-foot-long Lower Robertson Dam with a spillway crest elevation of 384.6 mean sea level (msl);
- Oberymeyer crest gates which raise the normal maximum pool elevation to 386.6-feet msl;
- An impoundment with a surface area of 8.6 acres;
- An intake structure and powerhouse at the north end of the dam with 3 turbine generator units with a total installed capacity of 840 kw; and,
- an 80-foot-long tailrace.
- an 18-foot-high by 144.5-foot-long timber cribbed Ashuelot Paper Company Dam with a spillway crest elevation of 335.4 mean sea level (msl);
- an Obermeyer crest gate which raises the normal maximum pool elevation to 339.6-feet msl;
- A small impoundment;
- An intake structure and powerhouse at the south end of the dam with 3 turbine generator units with a total installed capacity of 870 kW and
- a 70-foot-long tailrace
The FERC exemption orders require the owner to adhere to conditions originally issued by New Hampshire Fish & Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife that instantaneous flows of 203 cfs (0.5 cfs/sm) be passed at all times. At the request of a previous project owner, FERC and those agencies approved a stream flow gauging plan by orders dated November 1, 1994 (ASH) and May 16, 1995 (ROB). Under the current ownership, both projects are operated as run-of-river facilities in compliance with the conditions in the FERC exemption orders.
|Project Name||Ashuelot River & Lower Robertson|
|LIHI Certificate No.||46|
|LIHI Certificate Term||June 29, 2019 - June 28, 2027 (option to extend to June 28, 2029)|
|Owner||Ashuelot River Hydro, Inc.|
|Location||Located between river mile 2 and 3 on the Ashuelot River in Winchester, New Hampshire, off Route 119 between the village of Ashuelot and the Town of Hinsdale.|
|Installed Capacity||TOTAL: 1.71 MW Ashuelot River: 870 KW Lower Robertson: 840 KW|
|Average Annual Generation||TOTAL: 6,500 MW Ashuelot River: 3,300 MWh Lower Robertson: 3,200 MWh|
|FERC No.||Ashuelot River: P-7791 exempt 1986 Lower Robertson: 8235 exempt 1986|
October 28, 2019: The decision to recertify the Ashuelot/Lower Robertson Hydroelectric Project is final. No appeals were received during the appeal period which closed on October 26, 2019. The new certification term for the Project is from June 29, 2019 through June 28, 2027.
September 26, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has preliminarily approved Low Impact Recertification for the Ashuelot River/Lower Robertson Hydroelectric Project, LIHI #46. The Certification includes two conditions:
- Condition 1: The Facility Owner shall submit copies of the 2019 water quality monitoring report required by NHDES and all correspondence with the agency to LIHI upon completion of the 2019 monitoring period. LIHI reserves the right to additionally condition the Project’s LIHI Certificate or reconsider the certification decision based on the information provided.
- Condition 2 (optional): If at any time prior to six months before the expiration of the Certification term the Facility Owner implements: a) upstream eel passage at both Projects; and/or extends the current downstream fish passage season at both Projects to November 15, LIHI will review that information and determine whether or not to award a second PLUS standard and extend the Certificate term for two additional years.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ashuelot River/Lower Robertson 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 October 26, 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 June 29, 2019 for a term of eight (8) years, which will expire on June 28, 2027.
June 11, 2019: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for Low Impact Recertification of the Ashuelot River/Lower Robertson Hydroelectric Projects. 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 email@example.com with “Ashuelot River 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 August 10, 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.
April 8, 2015: The Ashuelot River Hydroelectric Project has been certified for a second five-year term of low impact certification, effective June 29, 2014 and expiring June 29, 2019. In rendering this Certification, the Institute’s Executive Director used authority delegated by the LIHI Governing Board and a full review of the Application Reviewer’s report (available in the Files section below) and all public comments and additional materials provided by the Applicant.
September 4, 2014: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received an application for a second term of certification of the Ashuelot River Hydroelectric Project. The application materials are available in the “Files” section below.
November 20, 2009: The Ashuelot River Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective June 24, 2009 and expiring June 24, 2014.
June 29, 2009: Ashuelot Hydro, Inc. has submitted an application for certification of the Ashuelot and Lower Robertson Hydroelectric Projects. A public comment period for the application will remain open for 60 days, until August 30, 2009.
- Ashuelot Recertification Application 2019
- Ashuelot Recertification Review Report 2019
- Ashuelot Response to Comments
- Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee Comment Letter - Ashuelot Recertification
- Connecticut River Conservancy Comment Letter - Ashuelot Recertification
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Comment Letter - Ashuelot Recertification
- Ashuelot Owner Response to Application Questions
- Ashuelot Recertification Review Report
- Ashuelot Recertification Application 2014
- Owner Response to Skuly Comment Letter
- Barbara Skuly Comment Letter - Ashuelot Recertification
- Watershed Protection 2014
- Watershed Protection-Map
- Ashuelot Certification Application 2009
- Ashuelot Certification Reviewer Report
- Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee Comment Letter - Ashuelot Certification
- Owner Response to Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee Comment Letter
- Connecticut River Watershed Council Comment Letter - Ashuelot Certification