September 28, 2017:
The 30 day appeal window for the Holyoke Hydroelectric Project has now ended and no appeals were filed. Therefore, the preliminary decision is now final and the Holyoke Gas & Electric Department Hydroelectric System has been approved for an 8-year term, effective January 1, 2017 and expiring January 1, 2025 with an opportunity to extend the term to January 1, 2027.
August 24, 2017:
LIHI has issued a Preliminary Certification Decision that the Holyoke Gas & Electric Department Hydroelectric System (FERC Nos 2004, 2768, 2766, 2771, 2386, 2387, 2388, 7758, 10806) continues to satisfy the LIHI Certification Criteria. The Certification includes three facility-specific conditions, as follows:
- Condition 1: As related to the goals set forth in License Article 405, the Owner shall evaluate the need to revise its modified run-of-river operation and update the Comprehensive Operations and Flow Plan (COFP) if there is a material change to the operation of the Turner Falls and Northfield Pump Storage projects because of the FERC relicensing of those upstream facilities. The Owner shall notify LIHI within 30 days of the licensing of those facilities and indicate its planned response.
- Condition 2: The Owner shall: (a) notify LIHI within 30 days of any communication from a resource agency or FERC that its fish passage facilities are not providing safe and effective upstream or downstream passage and include with the notification a copy of the communication and a statement as to the Owner’s planned response and schedule for remedying deficiencies; and (b) provide a summary report on the status of fish passage activities over the prior year when filing the LIHI annual compliance statement (see Section 5.2.3 of the Handbook), which shall include any information on related studies/evaluations, FERC actions, agency communications/recommendations, and any plans for design and/or construction of new or modified facilities. LIHI reserves the right to modify this certification as necessary to assure that its upstream and downstream fish passage standards are being met. This condition pertains to fish passage issues at all the Holyoke units, including the canal units. Optional: If fish passage effectiveness is proven successful before the end of the eighth year of certification, then LIHI will award two additional years to the term of the certificate, related to satisfaction of a second PLUS standard.
- Condition 3: The Owner shall notify LIHI within 30 days of any communication from a resource agency of a need to modify its management or operation of the hydroelectric system to assure protection of Atlantic sturgeon and its habitat. The notification shall include a copy of the communication and a statement as to the Owner’s intended response.
As provided for in Section 4.2.5 of the LIHI 2nd
Edition Handbook, the Preliminary Certification Decision, along with the Application Reviewer’s report and (if prepared) report of the Executive Director, will be posted on the Institute’s Web page for 30 days. Notice of the posting will be provided to all individuals or organizations that commented on the initial Application Package.
Any Commenter may submit a letter to the Executive Director requesting an appeal within the 30-day period. The appeal request must state specific reasons why the hydropower facility should have failed one or more criteria. Only individuals or organizations that commented on the initial Application Package may file an appeal. In addition, applicants may appeal conditions or decisions in a similar manner. Further information about the LIHI appeal process is available in the LIHI Handbook, available at https://lowimpacthydro.org/certification-program-html/
If no appeal is requested within the 30-day period, the Executive Director will issue the final certification for the facility and post a notification of certification on the LIHI website. Once final, the effective certification date for the Holyoke Gas & Electric Department Hydro System is August 31, 2017 for an eight (8) year term (with the possibility of an additional two (2) years after satisfaction of Condition 2) which will expire on January 1, 2025.
April 21, 2017:
The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has received a complete application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the Holyoke 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 Holyoke 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 email@example.com
with “Holyoke 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 June 21, 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.
July 26, 2012:
The Holyoke Hydropower System has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective January 1, 2012 and expiring January 1, 2017, with the following conditions:
May 14, 2010:
- If HG&E does not meet any of the downstream fish passage design and implementation deadlines that fall within the 5-year term of certification, LIHI will suspend certification unless HG&E demonstrates to LIHI that the resource agencies believe good cause exists for the schedule delay. Any subsequent re-certifications of the Facility will be dependent on HG&E’s passage facilities meeting effectiveness targets set by the agencies.
- HG&E shall either 1) restore the Shad Derby to two May weekends per year starting with May 2013 and at a minimum through the term of this certification, or 2) shall sponsor the Shad Derby for only one May weekend per year but only if the change from two weekends to one is approved by FERC based on an application to amend the Project 2004 recreation plan, with full consultation of Resource Agencies and interested NGOs. Should HG&E seek to amend the recreation plan, the Shad Derby shall be sponsored for two weekends per year until such time as FERC acts. HG&E shall inform LIHI of its decision by October 1, 2012. If it chooses to seek to amend the recreation plan, it shall notify LIHI of FERC’s final decision within 30 days of issuance. Continued non-compliance with this element of the recreation plan shall result in immediate revocation of this certification. Should HG&E obtain a written determination from FERC that the change from two weekends to one is not subject to FERC approval, HG&E shall provide LIHI with a copy of the determination and this condition shall become nullified.
The Holyoke Gas and Electric Department has submitted an application for certification of the HG&E Hydroelectric System.