NY’s Salmon River Project Earns Low-Impact Certification

The first project in New York State to receive an eight-year Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certification is Brookfield Power’s Salmon River Project in upstate New York. Brookfield Power claims it now has the most LIHI-certified hydro plants in the country. The announcement was made jointly by LIHI and Brookfield Power.

The Salmon River Project consists of two existing hydropower plants — Bennetts Bridge and Lighthouse Hill — located in the towns of Redfield and Orwell, Oswego County, New York. The two facilities are situated upstream approximately 18 and 17 miles, respectively, from where the river meets Lake Ontario. The installed capacity of the Salmon River Project is nearly 30 megawatts (MW) at Bennetts Bridge and 7.5 MW at Lighthouse Hill. “Brookfield Power remains the only hydropower producer in New York State to receive this esteemed LIHI certification,” said David Youlen, Brookfield Power vice president. “Brookfield Power produces clean, domestic renewable energy, and the LIHI certification is another way to reinforce how committed we are to making our hydropower facilities ‘greener’ than ever.” According to Fred Ayer, executive director of LIHI, “I also recommended that the Salmon River Project’s LIHI certification be extended by three years – for a total of eight years — based on its consistency with LIHI’s watershed protection criteria. In this case, Brookfield Power has designated a buffer zone for conservation purposes, as well as the company-financed Salmon River Enhancement Fund, which sets aside money for environmental and recreational projects within the Salmon River Corridor,” Ayer added. To receive the certification, Brookfield Power had to demonstrate that its projects met LIHI’s eight environmentally rigorous, low-impact criteria addressing river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed protection, threatened and endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether or not the dam itself has been recommended for removal. According to Youlen, “Brookfield Power now has low impact-certified hydropower plants on four river systems and in all three regions where it operates in New York State.”
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