LIHI Certificate #82 - Newfound Project, New Hampshire

The Newfound Project is located in downtown Bristol, New Hampshire approximately 800 feet downstream from the crossing of Water Street over the Newfound River. The project is located in the Merrimack River Basin approximately seven miles above the confluence of the Pemigewasset and the Winnipesaukee Rivers. The generally south flowing Merrimack River is New England’s fifth largest river.

The project was developed in 1927 by Public Service Company of New Hampshire which then discontinued operation of the project in 1948. In the 1970s, interest in domestic energy supply was renewed as foreign oil prices skyrocketed, and the project was purchased by the Newfound Hydroelectric Company in 1981. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a minor license in the same year with support from US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG), the New Hampshire Historical Preservation Office, and the New Hampshire Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission. The project has operated successfully ever since.

The project includes a diversion weir surmounted by wooden flashboards, totaling 10 feet in height; a concrete intake channel; a powerhouse containing two generating units with a total installed capacity of 1.5 MW; 6-foot diameter wooden penstock 420 feet long; and a 30-foot-wide tailrace extending 175 feet to the confluence of the Newfound and Pemigewasset Rivers.

The project operates in a run-of-river mode and impounds a 0.23-acre reservoir. The project provides a 12.7 cfs minimum bypass flow through the flashboard notch. This flow regime was developed in consultation with USFWS and NHFG using results from a flow-observation study completed in 2011.

In 2011, the project owner collaborated with New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) to conduct site specific water quality testing. Samples were collected and tested for dissolved oxygen, water temperature, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Based on these results, NHDES concluded that the project was meeting water quality standards for support of aquatic life and wildlife.

Project Name Newfound
LIHI Certificate No. 82
LIHI Certificate Term May 13, 2016 - May 13, 2021, extended to October 31, 2021
Owner KTZ Hydro, LLC, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC
State New Hampshire
Location Located on the Newfound River, 175 feet above its confluence with the Pemigewassat River in Bristol, New Hampshire.
Installed Capacity 1.5 MW
Average Annual Generation 5,125 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. P-3107 issued 1981, expires 2031

Historically, the river in the project reach has not supported anadromous fish species and American eel, a catadromous species, has not been documented upstream of the project dam. However, the project owner will begin consultation with resource agencies to determine passage measures should fisheries agencies prescribe such measures at the project.

The project lands consist of roughly one acre. The project is located in a highly developed urban area. No lands of significant ecological value exist in the project area due to the small project footprint and developed nature of the area.

In 2016, the project area was assessed for threatened or endangered species potentially present in the project vicinity via the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau database. This review found no threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat in the project area.

No cultural resources have been identified in the project area by the New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources. The project owner currently has no plans to make substantive changes to the project that could lead to the discovery of historic resources, and has committed to developing a mitigation plan should any activities have the potential to affect any historic resources, should they be discovered.

Recreational resources at the project include informal access for fishing. Public access is provided free of charge.


Certification History

September 24, 2021: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has preliminarily approved the Newfound Project for a 5-year term of Low Impact Certification. The Certificate includes the following conditions:

  • Condition 1. The facility Owner shall continue to maintain a minimum flow of 12.7 cfs, or instantaneous inflow if less, through the penstock-bypassed reach of river for the duration of this new LIHI certification. Any deviations from this release shall be reported to LIHI in annual compliance statements, along with discussion of the cause and actions taken to minimize reoccurrence.
  • Condition 2. If a fisheries agency requests or prescribes upstream or downstream passage for American eel at the Project during the term of the new LIHI Certificate, the facility Owner shall notify LIHI within 60 days of such action and the steps that the Owner is prepared to take to install appropriate passage at the Project dam. In the event that the Owner notifies LIHI that it does not intend to install appropriate passage, or that the Owner cannot reach an agreement with the resource agency, or agencies, as to the nature of this passage, LIHI reserves the right to modify, suspend, or revoke certification should LIHI determine that the Owner’s position is inconsistent with the LIHI fish passage criteria at that time.

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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with "Newfound Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Ave, Office 407, Arlington, MA 02476. 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 24, 2021. The full application and reviewer's report are available below.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Project will be May 13, 2021 through May 12, 2026.

June 22, 2021: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has received a complete recertification application from KTZ Hydro, LLC for the Newfound Project located on the Newfound River in New Hampshire.

This is the second time the project will be reviewed using LIHI's 2nd Edition Handbook. LIHI developed a streamlined application format for such projects to facilitate review in accordance with Section 6.1 of the 2nd Edition Handbook. This review process verifies the information submitted, considers any public comments received when the application is deemed complete, and assesses whether there have been any material changes at the facility or in the LIHI Handbook that affect compliance with the LIHI Criteria.

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 LIHI by e-mail at comments@lowimpacthydro.org with "Newfound Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 1167 Massachusetts Avenue, Office 407, Arlington, MA 02476. Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on August 21, 2021 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.

The project description, complete application, and prior certification documents can be found below.

November 2, 2017: On October 29, 2017, the 30-day appeal window for the preliminary decision to recertify the Newfound Hydroelectric Project ended with no appeals filed. The recertification decision is therefore final.

The term of Low Impact Certification for the Newfound Hydroelectric Project is from May 13, 2016 to May 13, 2021.

September 29, 2017: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has issued a Preliminary Certification Decision that the Newfound Hydroelectric Project continues to satisfy the LIHI Certification Criteria. The Certification includes four facility specific conditions, as follows:

  • Satisfied in part in 2018, satisfied in full in 2020. Condition 1: The Owner shall complete a water quality sampling study during summer 2018 under a study plan approved in advance by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). The study plan shall be filed with NHDES no later than December 31, 2017. A copy of the final study plan shall be filed with LIHI within 30 days of NHDES approval. The data and study report shall be filed with NHDES and LIHI by December 31, 2018. If the Newfound Project is determined to be causing, or contributing to, substandard water quality, a remediation proposal, including an implementation schedule, shall be developed in consultation with NHDES and filed with LIHI by April 1, 2019. Otherwise, the Owner shall file review comments and/or recommendations from NHDES by the same date.
  • Condition 2: The Owner shall continue to maintain a minimum flow of 12.7 cfs, or instantaneous inflow if less, through the penstock-bypassed reach of river for the duration of this new LIHI certification.
  • Condition 3: The Owner shall continue to maintain systems and protocols necessary to  assure compliance with the headpond elevation and flow management limitations of instantaneous run-of-river operation and the release of a minimum bypass flow as  specified in Condition No. 2 and to maintain records demonstrating compliance that  may be provided to LIHI if requested.
  • Condition 4: If a fisheries agency requests or prescribes upstream or downstream fish passage at the Project during the term of the new LIHI certificate, the Owner shall notify LIHI within 30 days of such action and the steps that the Owner is prepared to take to install appropriate passage at the Project dam. In the event that the Owner notifies LIHI that it does not intend to install appropriate passage, or that the Owner cannot reach an agreement with the resource agency, or agencies, as to the nature of this passage, LIHI reserves the right to withdraw its certification should LIHI determine that the Owner’s position is inconsistent with the LIHI fish passage criteria at that time.

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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Newfound Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 2, Lexington, MA, 02420.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on October 29, 2017 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. Once final, the effective certification date for the Newfound Hydroelectric Project is May 13, 2016 for a five (5) year term which will expire on May 13, 2021.Once final, the effective  certification date for the Newfound Hydroelectric Project is May 13, 2016 for a five (5) year  term which will expire on May 13, 2021.

The Newfound comment period has been extended to February 10, 2017.

December 8, 2016: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the Newfound Hydroelectric project. The application materials can be found in the Files section below.

LIHI is seeking public comment on this application.  Specifically, we are interested in knowing whether you think the Newfound project meets the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria, as revised in the 2nd Edition Handbook released in March 2016.  Please review the program and criteria in LIHI’s revised Handbook and then review the Project’s 2016 application materials posted on the project page.

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 comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Newfound Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, PO Box 194, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on February 8, 2017 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 17, 2011: The Newfound Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective May 13, 2011 and expiring May 13, 2016.

May 16, 2011: Newfound Hydroelectric Company has submitted an application for the certification of its Newfound Hydroelectric Project. Public comment period on the application will remain open for 60 days.