LIHI Certificate #82 - Newfound Project, New Hampshire

Project Name Newfound
LIHI Certificate No. 82
LIHI Certificate Term May 13, 2021 – May 12, 2031
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

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.

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.


Compliance Status

The Certificate includes the following facility-specific 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 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 re-occurrence.
  • 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.

2021: Annual reporting for the current Certificate has not yet taken effect.


Files:

2021 Recertification

2016 Recertification

2011 Certification