Cresticon Picture 002

The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project (“the project”) is located on the Millers River in the town of Athol, Massachusetts.

Project Name Cresticon
LIHI Certificate Number 87
LIHI Effective and Expiration Dates March 3, 2017
March 3, 2025
Owner MassGrow, LLC
State Massachusetts
Location Located on the Millers River in the town of Athol, Massachusetts.
Installed Capacity 0.5 MW
Average Annual Generation 1,080 MWH
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. 10163

The project is operated as a run-of-river facility required to maintain a continuous minimum flow of 25 cubic feet per second (cfs) or the inflow to the reservoir, whichever is less. Project works at the Upper Cresticon development consists of: (1) an existing 79-foot-long stone and concrete gravity dam; (2) 2-foot-high flashboards; (3) an impoundment having a surface area of 0.5 acres with negligible storage and normal water surface elevation of 569.06 feet m.s.l. (4) a 334 foot-long power canal; (5) a powerhouse containing one generating unit with an installed capacity of 250 kW; (6) a 223-foot-long tailrace; (7) a 90-foot-long, 13.8-kV transmission line; and (6) appurtenant facilities.

Project works at the Lower Cresticon development consist of: (1) a 135-foot-long, 3-foot, 10-inch-high concrete and stone dam; (2) 2-foot-high flashboards; (3) an impoundment having negligible storage and surface area and a normal water surface elevation of 355.2 feet m.s.l.; (4) a 670-foot-long power canal; (5) a powerhouse containing one generating unit with an installed capacity of 250 kW; (6)  tailrace; (7) a 1,200-foot-long, 13.8-kV transmission line, and (8) appurtenant facilities

The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project was purchased by MassGrow, LLC in 2018.  It was formerly owned and operated by L.P. Athol Corporation. The Athol Manufacturing Company originally developed the Upper and Lower Cresticon hydroelectric developoments at the turn of the 20th century. The oldest part of the complex, which includes the “Lower Site” hydro, was built in 1899 with additions to the building made up until the 1950s. The Upper Site hydro was constructed in 1931 and is located across Chestnut Hill Avenue from the Lower Site.

The Union Twist Drill acquired the facilities in the early 1900s for the manufacturing of tools. In 1972 the Union Twist Drill Company and the property were acquired by Litton Industries of California, which remained in operation until it was closed due to labor strife in 1985. In 1985, the hydro project, including ownership of all project features, equipment, and water rights were transferred to Cresticon, Inc. a subsidiary of Litton Industries.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an exemption for the continued operation of the Upper and Lower Cresticon hydroelectric projects to L.P. Athol Corporation effective February 12, 1988 which was transferred to MassGrow, LLC on August 28, 2018.

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 Certification History

November 29, 2017: The 30-day appeal window closed for the preliminary decision of the Cresticon Hydroelectric project with no appeals to the decision received. The Recertification decision is therefore final.

The  new term of Low Impact Certification for the Cresticon Hydroelectric Project is March 3, 2017 to March 3, 2025.

October 5, 2017: The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project has received a Preliminary Certification Decision that they continue to satisfy the LIHI Certification Criteria. The Certification is approved for an 8-year term. The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project Certification includes the following three conditions:

Condition satisfied 2018. Condition 1. Within 60 days after certification, the Owner will provide documentation to LIHI verifying that the Project operated over the prior LIHI certification period such that required base and minimum flow were maintained.

Condition 2. The Owner will abide by MADFW’s current schedule of installing upstream eel passage at the Project, pending installation of such passage facilities at the two downstream Projects, New Home and Starrett. The Owner will provide updated status reports on installation of upstream eel passage at the downstream Projects and at the Cresticon Project in its annual filings with LIHI.

Condition 3. The Owner will continue to voluntarily limit the Project’s approach water velocity to 1.5 feet/second or less during the American eel downstream migration period throughout the new LIHI certification period. The Owner will provide documentation of compliance with the voluntary limits in its annual filings with LIHI.

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 “Cresticon 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 November 5, 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 Cresticon Hydroelectric Project is March 3, 2017 for an eight (8) year term, which will expire on March 3, 2025.

July 10, 2017: The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project has submitted a complete application for recertification. Public comment on the application is open until September 10, 2017. The full application is posted below under Files.


June 25, 2012: The Cresticon Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective March 3, 2012 and expiring March 3, 2017.

May 3, 2012: Public comment period on application has been closed.

March 3, 2012: L.P. Athol Corporation has submitted an application for certification of the Cresticon Hydroelectric Project. Public comment period has been opened for 60 days.

November 15, 2011: Melissa Grader with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that the Cresticon Hydroelectric Project has no history of compliance issues with respect to maintaining the required bypass flows.


2017 Recertification

2012 Certification