Project Description

The headgate of the Eel Weir hydroelectric project is located at the outlet of Sebago Lake in the towns of Windham and Standish, Maine. The Presumpscot River originates from this point and extends roughly 25 miles southeast to the Atlantic Ocean at Casco Bay. The original license for the Eel Weir Project was issued in 1984, and the Project currently holds a 40-year license issued on March 23, 2015. Eel Weir was constructed in 1903 and is the most upstream hydro facility on the Presumpscot River. This is a store and release facility and includes 3 Hercules Turbines and a 23-foot dam.

Project Name Eel Weir
LIHI Certificate 137
LIHI Effective and Expiration Dates September 5, 2017 – September 4, 2022
Owner S.D. Warren Company d/b/a Sappi North America
State Maine
Location Standish and Windham, Cumberland County

River mile 25 on the Presumpscot River

Installed Capacity 1.8 MW
Average Annual Generation 12,300 MWh
Facility Type store and release
FERC No. 2984

Certification History

March 23, 2018: The appeal period for the Preliminary Decision to certify the Eel Weir hydroelectric project has closed with no requests to appeal. The decision is therefore final. Island Park is LIHI Certificate #137.

January 30, 2018: On January 24, 2018, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Eel Weir project with the following condition:

Condition 1.  The Owner shall update LIHI on the following activities and provide requested documentation in the annual LIHI compliance statement:

  1. Status of completion of releasing the 125 cfs minimum flow to the bypass reach, expected to begin April 1, 2019, in accordance with the current agency approvals.
  2. The status of downstream eel passage testing. Once testing is completed, the Owner shall forward to LIHI a copy of the final report, agency comments on the report, any agency recommendations made as a result of the testing, and any plans and schedule for any needed modifications to downstream passage facilities or measures.
  3. Receipt of formal agency notification by USFWS or any state resource agency that conditions have changed and it is appropriate that upstream and/or downstream passage for anadromous species is installed at the Project;
  4. A summary of any consultation with MIF&W and/or USFWS related to state or federally listed species identified as possibly occurring at the site that could be impacted by construction activities or non-routine operations or maintenance activities. A summary of the relevant triggering activities and the measures implemented during the year to protect such species shall also be provided.
  5. Status of completion of the Phase 0 archeological studies by the 2021 deadline specified in the HPMP; and
  6. Status of completion of the report on improvements for public access to Sebago Lake by the June 30, 2022 deadline, including comments and concurrence of resource agencies of the report findings.

The reviewer’s report is attached at the bottom of this page. This decision is preliminary pending the 30-day appeal window. Only those who commented in the initial application 60-day comment period are eligible to file an appeal. Such appeal needs to include an explanation as to how the project does not meet the LIHI criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted to comments@lowimpacthydro.org. Requests must be received by 5:00 pm Eastern time March 1, 2018.

September 7, 2017: On September 7, 2017 the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received a complete application from S.D. Warren Company d/b/a Sappi North America.

LIHI is seeking comment on the Eel Weir 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 “Eel Weir Project 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 November 7, 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.

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