Lexington, Mass. (May 15, 2018) – On May 11, 2018, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) preliminarily approved Low Impact Certification for the Middle Fork Irrigation District, Powerhouses #1 and #2 for a 10-year term.

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. Any appeal must include specific reasons why the appellant believes the hydropower facility does not meet one or more criteria. Appeal requests can be submitted by email to comments@lowimpacthydro.org with “MFID 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 June 14, 2018. The full application and reviewers report are available at the bottom of this page.

If no appeal requests are received and the decision becomes final, the new term for the MFID Project will be February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2028.

Lexington, Mass. (February 26, 2018) –  The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has received a complete application from the Middle Fork Irrigation District (MFID) for the Low Impact Certification of Hydro Plant No. 1 and No. 2 of the Middle Fork Irrigation District Hydroelectric Project located in Parkdale, Oregon (FERC exempt No. P-4458).

LIHI is seeking comment on the MFID 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 “MFID 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 April 27, 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.

Project Description

Hydro Plant Nos. 1 and 2 are off-stream conduit facilities that are part of a water transmission system primarily used for irrigation.  Hydro Plant No. 1 contains a single 2.0 MW Pelton turbine, and Hydro Plant No. 2 contains a single 0.5 MW Francis turbine. A third powerhouse, Hydro Plant No. 3, is not included in the LIHI application.  It is located downstream of Hydro Plant No. 2 and provides water for multiple uses including hydropower, downstream agricultural uses, the maintenance of a rural fire protection system, and the Bonneville Power Administration fish hatchery facility, which is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.  Hydro Plant No. 3 ultimately discharges to Rogers Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Hood River.

The Project was built by the Middle Fork Irrigation District, a District formed in 1921 to meet the irrigation needs of the agricultural community in the upper Hood River Valley. Geographically, the Project is located northeast of Mt. Hood in Parkdale, Oregon, and Project water flows from District points of diversion, northeast towards the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon.  Flows into the irrigation project originate at Laurance Lake, which has an area of 52.8 acres and a shoreline of 1.6 miles. Laurance Lake, also known as Clear Branch Reservoir, is impounded by the 110-foot high Clear Branch Dam. Laurance Lake lies in a heavily forested valley with steep ridges on both sides and Mt. Hood to the south. The lake and its drainage basin are entirely within the Mount Hood National Forest land. The reservoir supports an irrigation system that irrigates nearly 6,400 acres of high value crop land in the upper Hood River Valley. The three small powerhouses within the MFID’s Project irrigation system operate under a FERC Exemption for small hydro and were added to the preexisting irrigation distribution system in the mid-1980s.

Hydropower ,Certification


 Environmental Safety, Healthy Rivers


Project Name Middle Fork Irrigation District (MFID) Hydro Plants No. 1 and No. 2
Owner Middle Fork Irrigation District
State Oregon
Location Middle Fork Hood River Basin
Installed Capacity Hydro Plant 1: 2.0 MW

Hydro Plant 2: 0.5 MW

Total 2.5 MW

Average Annual Generation Hydro Plant 1: 16,575 MWh

Hydro Plant 2:   3,894 MWh

Total: 20,469 MWh

Facility Type In-conduit
FERC No. 4458