LIHI Certificate #60 - Oakland Project, Maine

The Oakland Hydroelectric facility (‘the Oakland Project) is located on Messalonskee stream approximately 0.4 miles downstream of the Messalonskee Lake dam in Oakland, Maine.  The Oakland project is the first of the three hydropower facilities between Messalonskee Lake dam and the Kennebec River that are licensed under the FERC project No. 2556.  The Oakland project operates with an installed electrical generating capacity of 2.8 MW and an average annual generation of 9.8 GWh.

The facility is comprised of a 115 foot-long dam that is 14 feet high with 4 foot flashboards.  The facility penstock is 466 feet long and the powerhouse contains a 2.8 MW generator.  The facility impoundment is 0.4 miles long and has a gross storage capacity of 50 acre-feet.  The tailrace of the facility abuts the next hydropower facility downstream, the Rice Rips Project.

Operation of the Oakland Facility is dependent on inflow to Messalonskee Lake. When inflow to Messalonskee Lake is greater than approximately 570 cfs, the Oakland project is operated as a run-of-river project. When inflow is less than approximately 570 cfs the project is cycled. All water that does not go through the turbines is passed over the spillway. MSH utilizes the top 0.5 feet of Messalonskee Lake as storage for generation during the summer months (1.0 foot during the winter months). The applicant only utilizes the top 0.5 feet because the lake is regulated and operated for recreational purposes. During the summer months, if the lake level is reduced by more than 0.5 feet camp owners on the lake complain because of the effect on their docks. The top 0.5 feet of lake provides roughly 1,500 acre-feet of storage.

Project Name Oakland
LIHI Certificate No. 60
LIHI Certificate Term May 9, 2015 - May 9, 2020, extended to July 31, 2021
Owner Messalonskee Stream Hydro Associates
State Maine
Location Located at river mile 10.2 on the Messalonskee Stream, a tributary of the Kennebec River, in Kennebec County, Maine.
Installed Capacity 2.8 MW
Average Annual Generation 9.8 GWh
Facility Type Inflow > 570 cfs: run-of-river Inflow < 570 cfs: cycled
FERC No. P-2556 issued 1999, expires 2036

Certification History

May 2, 2016: LIHI Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has certified that the Oakland Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-2556) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. A Preliminary Decision was announced on April 1, 2016, and a 30-day appeal period was open through May 1, 2016. No requests for appeal were received. This Certification Decision includes one facility-specific condition, as follows:

  • Condition 1: On the Owner’s Annual Compliance Statements, the Owner will update LIHI on the status of upstream and downstream eel passage at the site. Unless determined to be impractical by DMR and the Owner, upstream passage shall be installed during the new certification period. The Owner will notify LIHI within 45 days when DMR determines there is a sufficient number of eel present in the river to conduct the studies needed to determine the best location to install downstream passage. A summary of those study results, along with a DMR approved plan and schedule for downstream eel passage installation, shall be included in that year’s Annual Compliance Statement.

The effective certification date for the Oakland Project is May 9, 2015 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on May 9, 2020.

November 2, 2015: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the Oakland Hydroelectric project.  The application materials can be found in the Files section below.

The public comment period for this application closed on December 30, 2015.

June 19, 2015: The Oakland Hydroelectric project has been granted an extension of the current certificate term. The new expiration date is December 31, 2015. See ExtensionLetter_2015Recert for explanation below.

October 22, 2010: The Oakland Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective May 9, 2010 and expiring May 9, 2015.

July 9, 2010: The public comment period for the application for certification has been closed.

May 9, 2010: Messalonskee Stream Hydro Associates has submitted an application for certification of the Oakland Hydroelectric Project. A public comment period will remain open for 60 days.