Flash boards

The West Dudley Hydroelectric Project (“the project”) is located on the Quinebaug River in the town of Dudley, Massachusetts. Industrial, residential and undeveloped lands are all found in the project area. Some of the undeveloped land primarily on the west side of the river, close as it is to intensive industrial and commercial use, provides some wildlife habitat. Undeveloped lands include a number of wooded areas some of which are seasonally flooded. The remainder of the area consists of low-density residential and small industrial development. The project area is located in the Thames River Basin.  The approximate latitude and longitude of the project area are 42° 3’1.64″N and 71°58’53.05″W.

Project Name West Dudley
LIHI Certificate Number 76
LIHI Effective and Expiration Dates April 7, 2015
April 7, 2020
Owner West Dudly Hydro, LLC
State Massachusetts
Location Located on the Quinepaug River, in the Thames River Basin in Dudley, Massachusetts.
Installed Capacity 0.310 MW
Average Annual Generation 969 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. 7254

The project is operated as a run-of-river facility. The project is required to maintain a continuous minimum flow of 76 cubic feet per second (ABF .5 cfs) or the inflow to the reservoir, whichever is less. Project works consist of: (a) a reservoir with an 31-acre surface area, and a useable storage capacity of 201 acre-feet; (b) a 55 foot spillway; (c) a dam consisting of two sections 55 feet in length and 144 feet in length, at the junction of which is located an existing 60 foot stone and masonry powerhouse; (d) 4 foot high flashboards; (e) transmission equipment and electrical facilities; and (f) appurtenant equipment.

The powerhouse contains three turbine generators. Unit 1 consists of a modified Medsker bran turbine with a belt driven induction motor. It is a fixed blade Kaplan style which develops 95 kw of power. Unit 2 is also a modified Medsker brand turbine with a belt driven induction motor. It is a fixed blade Kaplan style which develops 120 kw of power. Unit 3 is a Flygt brand submersible unit with a direct-coupled planetary gearbox and induction generator. It is an adjustable blade Kaplan style with output of 95 kw. The total water flow through the project at full operation is approximately 500 cfs.

The project utilizes a previously existing impoundment and the plant is unmanned, but operation is monitored on a 24/7 basis.

Dam 2

On June 10, 1983 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an exemption to the West Dudley Power Company authorizing the operation and maintenance of the West Dudley hydroelectric project (FERC 7254). No agency comments were received in opposition to the exemption. No federally listed threatened or endangered plant species are known to occur within the West Dudley facility area.

As a condition of issuance, the FERC Exemption requires the Applicant to comply with any terms and conditions that the Federal or State fish and wildlife agencies have determined appropriate to prevent loss of, or damage to, fish and wildlife resources. Based on commitments to comply with both state and federal agency recommendations, the facility operates within FERC and Federal or State Fish and Wildlife Agency guidelines. The project’s exemption is subject to termination if the facility is found to be out of compliance. There have been no deficiencies noted by any agency with jurisdiction for the plant.

The Applicant maintains that the project is not currently required by any state or federal agency to maintain upstream or downstream fish passage facilities.  The Applicant says that Dr. Caleb Slater of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife confirmed March 16, 2011 letter that there are no anadromous fish species present in the vicinity of the Project and upstream and downstream fish passage at the project is not required until such time as migratory fish are restored to the project area.

power house looking upstream

Power house from bridge

Certification History

May 6, 2016: LIHI Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has certified that the West Dudley Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-7254) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria. A Preliminary Decision was announced on April 6, 2016, and a 30-day appeal period was open through May 6, 2016. No requests for appeal were received. This Certification Decision includes one facility-specific condition, as follows:

  • Condition 1. The Owner shall continue to provide interim safe, timely, and effective downstream passage for American eel on an annual basis during the period August 15 through November 15.  The Owner shall cease generating from dusk to dawn during that period whenever either of the following occurs: 1) a rain event of 0.25 inch or more in a 24-hour period, or 2) a 50% increase in flow over the previous three-day average flow (e.g., if a substantial water release occurs from an upstream reservoir). The generation shutdowns shall continue for 72 hours (i.e., three nights). The Owner shall keep a log during this period, showing hourly precipitation and generation information, and provide it to LIHI, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife by December 31 annually until permanent measures are in place. In the event that either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife determine that the above-described interim downstream passage measure is not providing safe, timely and effective passage for out-migrating eels, the Owner shall implement other reasonable interim measures as requested by these agencies.  The Owner may also propose alternative eel passage measures for consideration if such measures have a strong technical and scientific basis.  During the term of this certification, should a resource agency request implementation of permanent downstream passage or upstream passage at the Facility, the Owner shall notify LIHI within 14 days of that request and provide LIHI with a copy of the request and the Owner’s response.

The effective certification date for the West Dudley is April 7, 2015 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on April 7, 2020.

December 4, 2015: On December 4, 2015, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the West Dudley Hydroelectric project.  The application materials can be found in the Files section below.

The public comment period for this application closed on February 8, 2016.

September 22, 2011: The West Dudley Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective April 7, 2011 and expiring April 7, 2016.

April 7, 2011: West Dudley Hydro, LLC has submitted an application for the certification of the West Dudley Project. The public comment period will remain open for 60 days.

Flash boards


2015 Recertification