The Emeryville Hydroelectric Project (“Project” or “facility”) is located on RM 70 of the Oswegatchie River, in the Town of Fowler, New York.  The Project is owned by KE Emeryville LLC and operated by KEI USA Power Management.  Operations at the Facility are regulated by three documents: a Settlement Agreement reached in 2010, a Water Quality Certificate issued in 2011, and a 40-year FERC License issued in 2012 (FERC #2850).  FERC approved the transfer of the 2012 license from Hampshire Paper Company to KE Emeryville LLC on December 16, 2016, and all terms are applicable to the new Owner.

Project Description

The 132 mile-long Oswegatchie river, a tributary to the St. Lawrence River, features many dams and hydroelectric facilities from its headwaters in the northwestern Adirondacks to its confluence with the St. Lawrence – the Emeryville project is the ninth upstream dam located approximately two miles downstream of the Hollow Dam (FERC #6972) and two miles upstream of the Fowler #7 Dam (FERC #6059).  The Oswegatchie River basin covers a total drainage area of 1,034 square miles, and a large portion of this area is located within the Adirondack State Park. The River flows through four ecological zones from the primarily mountainous central Adirondacks to the St. Lawrence Plain, characterized by hilly terrain with exposed bedrock. Water quality on the Oswegatchie is designated as Class A, and designated uses by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) include supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes, primary and secondary contact recreation, and fishing. Fisheries consist of warmwater and coolwater species, which are listed under the fish passage criteria below.

The history of the site dates back to the 1800s, when the waterpower was originally used to drive pulp grinders. In 1938, Rushmore Paper Mills, Inc. demolished the pulp mill and replaced it with a hydroelectric plant. Hampshire Paper Company (HPC) purchased the site from Rushmore Paper Mills in 1953. In 1987, HPC undertook a major renovation program by removing and replacing the powerhouse, turbine-generator equipment, switchyard and portions of the intake.  Minor improvements were made to the generator building in 1998 due to flooding.

Overview of Dam, Penstock, and Powerhouse

The Project now includes a 16.7-foot-high, 185-foot-long dam with a 176-foot-long concrete spillway equipped with 2.4-foot-high flashboards; a 35-acre impoundment; a 60-foot-long by 14-foot-diameter steel penstock leading to the powerhouse which contains a single horizontal axial flow turbine with a rated capacity of 3,449 kilowatts (kW), a maximum hydraulic capacity of 1,470 cubic feet per second (cfs), and a net head of 32 feet.

The Project creates a 229-foot-long bypassed reach with a year-round minimum flow of 20 cfs in the bypassed reach.  Operations are run-of-river with monitoring the impoundment elevation with a headpond sensor and automatically adjusting turbine discharge to maintain a normal impoundment elevation.  The project boundary includes nearly 46 acres and extends approximately 1 mile upstream of the dam and approximately 360 feet downstream of the powerhouse.  The Project includes recreational facilities: two boat ramps that provide access to the impoundment and tailrace, a canoe portage trail, and a picnic area.

Project Name Emeryville
LIHI Certificate Number 144
LIHI Effective and
Expiration Dates
July 10, 2018 – July 9, 2023
Owner KE Emeryville LLC
State New York
Location Oswegatchie River
Installed Capacity 3.48 MW
Average Annual Generation 18,761 MWh
Facility Type Run-of-river
FERC No. 2850

 

Certification History:

October 10, 2018: The 30-day appeal window closed for the preliminary certification decision of the Emeryville Hydroelectric Project closed on October 6, 2018 with no appeals to the decision received. The decision is therefore final, and the Emeryville Hydroelectric Project is LIHI Certificate #144. The Certificate term is July 10, 2018 through July 9, 2023.

September 4, 2018:  The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Emeryville Hydroelectric Project.  This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented in 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 projects do not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “Emeryville Hydroelectric Project” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 2, Lexington, MA 02420. All requests will be posted to the website and 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 6, 2018.  The full application and reviewers report are available below.  If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the Certification term for the Emeryville Project will be July 10, 2018 through July 9, 2023.

February 20, 2018: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has received a complete application from KEI (USA) Power Management Inc. for the Low Impact Certification of the Emeryville Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2850), owned by KE Emeryville LLC.  The project is located at river mile 70 on the Oswegatchie River in the town of Fowler, St. Lawrence County, New York and is the ninth hydroelectric development location upstream from the confluence with the St. Lawrence River. LIHI is seeking comment on the Emeryville application for certification. 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 “Emeryville Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2, Lexington, MA 02420.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on April 21, 2018 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.

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