The Ware River Project consists of two dams and a total of 5 turbines within 1/2 mile of each other on the Ware River in Ware, Massachusetts. In 1995, Lucas, David, and Sarah Wright of Ware River Power, Inc. (WRP) purchased Pioneer Hydro out of bankruptcy. Since that time, the Wrights and WRP have devoted a vast amount of hard work, time, energy and capital to make Pioneer low impact on its surroundings. Ware River Power’s approach is one of restoration and conservation of existing structures and equipment rather than replacement. Numerous examples of the dedicated work towards minimal impact of the facility are documented in the Comments Attachment of the original LIHI application for certification which was approved in 2010.
|Project Name||Ware River|
|LIHI Certificate No.||47|
|LIHI Certificate Term||August 24, 2014 –
August 24, 2019
Extended to May 31, 2020
|Owner||Ware River Power, Inc.|
|Location||Located between river mile 11.5 and 12 on the Ware River in Massachusetts.|
|Installed Capacity||1.596 MW|
|Average Annual Generation||1,500 MWh|
|FERC No.||P-3127 exempt 1982|
The facility consists of Ware Upper Dam which falls 34 feet, and Ware Lower Dam which falls 16 feet. The Upper Dam houses turbines 1, 2, 4, and 5. The Lower Dam houses turbine 3. Turbines 4 and 5 on the upper dam and turbine 3 on the lower dam are controlled automatically with direct pond leveling controls.
Since the initial LIHI certification and as a result of an agreement with Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, minimum stream flow at the facility has been voluntarily increased over and above the FERC required 20cfs to 26.8cfs. This represents a 34% increase. The increased minimum stream flow was achieved through significant alterations to the upper dam and flashboard structure in October of 2010 which increased the bypass weir width from 11.4 feet to 15.3 feet. Minimum stream flow is constantly and closely monitored by pond leveling sensors that control turbine actuation. In case of low pond level, an automatic dialer notifies operators via cell and pager communications of a low pond level scenario. If response is not delivered manually, the site trips offline before a violation of minimum stream flow occurs. The lower dam has no minimum stream flow, as its discharge is directly at the foot of the dam and it has no reach area. The lower dam is “run of river” at all times and has shutdown protection if water gets below dam crest.
February 25, 2020: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has received a complete recertification application from Ware River Power, Inc. for the Ware River Project located on the Ware River in Ware, Massachusetts. The complete application can be found below.
LIHI is seeking comment on this application. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ware 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 at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on April 25, 2020 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.
December 14, 2015: LIHI Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has certified that the Ware River Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-3127) continues to satisfy the LIHI Certification Criteria. A Preliminary Decision was announced on October 23, 2015, and a 30-day appeal period was open through November 23, 2015. No requests for appeal were received. This Certification Decision includes one facility-specific conditions, as follows:
- The proposed modifications to the Lower Dam may be completed during the term of the new LIHI certification. Should this occur during the five-certification period as currently planned, the facility owner shall provide LIHI a copy of any License Exemption Amendment, along with resource agency comments and a schedule of the project’s planned initiation and completion dates, within 30 days of receipt of the Amendment. The results of any sampling or monitoring studies required by the Amendment or resource agencies shall be provided to LIHI within 60 days of results documentation. At that time, LIHI will review the new certification and make changes if appropriate.
The effective certification date for the Ware River Project is August 24, 2014 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on August 24, 2019.
January 1, 2015: Executive Director Michael J. Sale issues a letter extending the Ware River Project certificate to March 31, 2015.
June 18, 2014: LIHI has received an application for a second term of certification of the Ware River Hydroelectric Project. The application materials can be found in the “Files” section below.
March 4, 2010: The Ware River Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective August 24, 2009 and expiring August 24, 2014.
January 5, 2010: After much discussion between Ware River Hydro, Inc. and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game concerning a possible resolution based on increasing minimum stream flow, the details of this potential agreement can be read below, in a letter from Lucas Wright to LIHI, dated December 10, 2009.
August 24, 2009: Ware River Hydro, Inc. has submitted an application for certification of the Pioneer Hydroelectric Company Project located on the Ware River in Ware, Massachusetts. A public comment period will remain open for 60 days, until October 24, 2009.
- Ware River 2015 Recertification Report
- 2014 Recertification – Questionnaire
- 2014 Recertification – Contacts
- 2014 Recertification Attachment B
- 2014 Recertification Attachment D
- 2014 Recertification – FERC Letter
- 2014 Recertification – MA Fish&Wildlife Letter
- 2014 Recertification – water quality criteria comment