LIHI Certificate #85 - Martinsville Project, Vermont

Since 1985, Martinsville Hydro has operated this 250 kW, run of river facility on Lulls Brook in the Village of Hartland Three Corners in Hartland, Vermont. The project was issued a 401 Water Quality Certification on November 28, 1983 and a 50 year FERC License (7373-VT) on December, 8 1984. These same standards remain in effect today, have not been amended nor is there any proposed or ongoing action to alter them.
The project lies on a long and narrow 3 acre property along the easterly side of Vermont Route 5 and is wedged in a steeply sided, rocky gorge. The first mill was located here in 1767.  The drainage area at the project is 21 square miles and the net head of the site is 98 feet. Water is conveyed from a small concrete gravity dam via penstock to the powerhouse that contains two twin generating units. The maximum hydraulic capacity of the turbines is 48 cfs. The minimum bypass flow release, as determined by USFWS and Vermont Division of Water Quality, is 4 cfs or 2 cfs if inflow is greater than 4 cfs, passed by a low level notch and a submerged orifice. Martinsville has regularly filed its annual minimum flow report to the NY FERC Regional Office certifying compliance with its minimum flow standards.

The plant is fully automated, equipped with a high end programmable controller with internet monitoring and remote control, for stable operation and pond level control - all maintained by the owner-operator who lives nearby.

No fish passage prescription have ever been discussed or proposed for the project as the findings in the 401 state “the penstock-bypassed section of the stream is a steep gradient channel of chutes and shallow pools on largely scoured ledge. Such habitat has little direct value for fish production due to lack of adequate spawning and nursery areas. The dam would not constitute an obstruction to the upstream migration as the steep gradient of chutes in the bypass present a natural barrier for fish passage.”  Other than the statutory state and federal agencies, no other party has ever intervened in this project.

Other than signage for dangerous conditions, there are no other recreational requirements for the project as the reservoir is about the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool and has no safe public access because of its confined location. Additionally, there has never been any request or proposals for cultural or watershed improvements nor have any threatened or endangered species been identified near or within the project boundary.
Project Name Martinsville
LIHI Certificate No. 85
LIHI Certificate Term April 30, 2016 - April 30, 2021, extended to August 31, 2021
Owner Martinsville Hydro Corp.
State Vermont
Location Located at river mile 0.8 on Lulls Brook in Hartland, Vermont.
Installed Capacity 0.25  MW
Average Annual Generation 750 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. P-7373 issued 1984, expires 2034

Certification History

February 27, 2017: On January 20, 2017, LIHI Executive Director Shannon Ames, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has issued a Preliminary Certification Decision that the Martinsville Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-7373) satisfies the LIHI Certification Criteria.

As provided for in Section 4.2.5 of the LIHI 2nd Edition Handbook, notice of the preliminary decision to certify was posted on the Institute's website and sent to the stakeholder email distribution list on January 23, 2017. A 30-day period was provided to anyone who commented on the original application to request an appeal, and no requests for appeal were received.

The Martinsville Project is now deemed certified by LIHI for a five (5) year term. The effective certification date for the Martinsville Project is April 30, 2016, expiring on April 30, 2021.

August 5, 2016: On July 27, 2016, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the Martinsville 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 Martinsville project continues to meet the LIHI Low Impact Certification Criteria.  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 with “Martinsville 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 October 5, 2016 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.

May 3, 2012: The Martinsville Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective April 30, 2011 and expiring April 30, 2016.

May 3, 2011: Martinsville Hydro Corporation received an email from the Streamflow Protection Coordinator from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in regards to their Water Quality Certification. It can be read in the Files section below.

April 30, 2011: Martinsville Hydro Corporation has submitted an application for the certification of the Martinsville Hydroelectric project.