Final Decision – Recertification of the Mother Ann Lee Project, LIHI #24, KYJuly 6, 2023
Mid-Term Review – Red Bridge, Putts Bridge, Indian Orchard and Dwight Projects, MAAugust 17, 2023
Living with Water, Sustainability, and Resilience in Lawrence, MA
The LIHI team was excited to collaborate with Endicott College students and their award-winning, solutions-based case study for the inaugural Hydropower Collegiate Competition in May. Their submission focused on expanding hydropower from the Lawrence (Massachusetts) Hydroelectric Facility, a Low Impact certified project. We invited Jack Duggan, Associate Dean of the School of Science & Technology at Endicott Collee Below to prepare a Guest Blog to share the team’s experience.
The Endicott College “Living with Water, Sustainability and Resiliency in Lawrence, MA” project was a year-long collaborative effort by a talented and dedicated team of engineering, mathematics, architecture, environmental and business students. The inaugural 2023 Hydropower Collegiate Competition, sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, drew competing teams from some of the premier engineering programs in the country. The engineering Case Studies presented at the 2023 Waterpower Week in Washington, DC, providing solutions that address climate change and clean energy challenges, were extraordinary.
Ten student-led teams from Columbia, Cornell, Yale, Northern Arizona University, Penn State, Texas Tech, University of Houston, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech/University of Michigan, and Endicott College each analyzed a case study on how hydropower fits into a future power grid supported by 100% renewable energy and the associated opportunities and challenges of incorporating the hydropower fleet into this clean energy vision. They also provided solutions that can help hydropower fully support a clean energy grid.
Endicott College garnered first place in the overall competition and won first place in the Case Study individual category contest as well. The Endicott student team’s Case Study of the Lawrence Hydroelectric Facility evaluated the role the existing facility will play in meeting a net clean energy goal in the region by 2036. The team identified opportunities to expand hydropower production along the South Canal with an innovative and fish-friendly turbine that would help support a microgrid and economic redevelopment. The team also suggested that the turbine design could be duplicated along the canal and offered a brownfield redevelopment design for the former Merrimac Paper Company site that includes housing, retail and commercial space and new public access to the Merrimack River.
The Endicott team offered a solution to an Environmental Justice problem based on engineering but supported by architecture, economics, environmental science and real community engagement. The students took an interest in the social legacy of Lawrence, the Immigrant City, learning about past and current challenges and current opportunities. It was a competition about waterpower but in the end, their design was more about people and less about power.
This project was a collaborative effort of Endicott’s School of Science and Technology, School of Visual and Performing Arts, Gerrish School of Business and Angle Center for Entrepreneurship. While the competition has concluded, the project has not. The Team has been invited to present at the National Hydropower Association’s northeast regional meeting in July and several waterpower professionals, including engineering firms and energy investors, have approached the team, expressing an interest in Lawrence, its waterpower, and its future. The team has created relationships with the City of Lawrence, Greater Lawrence Technical High School and local organizations and new community engagement projects are being envisioned. The team is very grateful for all the external support throughout the project, including from the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, New England Hydropower Company, Patriot Hydro, USGS Conte Fish Passage Research Center, Reading Municipal Light Department, ISO New England, Groundwork Lawrence, Lawrence History Center and the City of Lawrence.
Graciously contributed by John (Jack) Duggan, Endicott College Associate Dean of the School of Science & Technology.