FERC Relicenses Three Hydroelectric Dams in New Hampshire

Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) has received a new license for the continued operation of three hydroelectric facilities it owns in New Hampshire along the Merrimack River between Manchester and Concord.

The new 40-year license, effective May 1, 2007, was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and contains a number of environmental requirements aimed at protecting fish and wildlife resources and water quality. Collectively, the three facilities are capable of generating 30 megawatts of electrical power.

“Hydropower is a clean renewable energy resource which helps offset the use of fossil fuels,” noted John MacDonald, PSNH vice president, energy delivery and generation. “PSNH is committed to increasing its supply of renewable energy and this new FERC license is testimony to the fact that we have safely and effectively operated these three facilities for many decades.”

FERC’s license for PSNH’s “Merrimack River Project” includes Amoskeag Station in Manchester, Hooksett Station in Hooksett and Garvins Falls Station in Bow. Some of the requirements it contains — which were agreed to by PSNH as well as federal, state and local government agencies, environmental organizations and private citizens — include Run-of-River Operation and Bypass Reach Flows to enhance the aquatic habitat; Fish Passageways to trigger the return of a certain number of shad and river herring; 105 acres of PSNH-owned land within the Project boundary has been designated for the protection of eagle habitat; and a recreation plan including canoe portage improvements will be developed within six months of the license issuance.

PSNH has operated the three dams under a series of FERC license extensions since the previous 25-year license expired on December 31, 2005.

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