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Low Impact Hydro Institute

September 2004 - Maine Interfaith Power and Light (MeIPL) introduced two new green power offerings sourced from zero-emission renewable energy resources, which replace and improve upon its initial green power offering launched in January 2003. The first new product, Green Supply II, is sourced from the Worumbo hydropower facility in Lisbon Falls, Maine, which is the only small hydropower dam in the state certified as low-impact by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. The product is priced at 1¢/kWh above the standard offer rate. The second offering, Green Supply Plus, couples electricity from the Worumbo hydropower facility with 20% new wind electricity and is priced at 1.5¢/kWh above the standard offer rate.

News Article - New Clean Electricity Products for Homeowners (in Maine Green Power Connection Newsletter, Fall 2004)

February 2002 - The Board of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) recently implemented a number of changes to its certification standards. One of the most important changes is that "new" hydropower generation facilities, which are defined as additions made to existing dams after August 1998, are now eligible for certification. Prior to this decision, only projects operating on or before that date were eligible for certification. The Board also extended existing alternative options for meeting the flows and fish passage criteria for two more years. And finally, it decided to delay enhancements to the water quality and watershed protection criteria for two years and to extend the term of certification from two to five years.

News Article - Low Impact Hydro Institute: What's New, November 2001 - No longer online at LIHI

LIHI Contact: Lydia Grimm (503) 227-1763

November 1999 - American Rivers, Inc., a non-profit organization specializing in protecting and restoring rivers, released final criteria defining low-impact hydropower resources. The criteria form the basis for a voluntary, low-impact hydro certification program, which will be administered by a new non-profit organization, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI). The certification program, which will be officially launched in January 2000, is designed to evaluate the environmental impacts of hydro resources using objective environmental criteria and to provide customers with a basis for choosing environmentally preferable hydro resources. The certification criteria address hydro facility impacts on flows, water quality, fish passage, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, recreation, and watersheds.

Some states, such as California, have included small hydropower resources of less than 30 MW in size — an arbitrary distinction contained in the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978 — in legislative definitions of environmentally preferable resources. The low-impact hydro certification program is intended to provide a more objective evaluation of hydro resources based on their actual environmental impacts.

The certification criteria were developed by American Rivers, Inc. and, in collaboration with a task force representing the environmental community, hydropower industry, resource agencies, and power marketers.

Full Report - Low Impact Hydropower Certification Program Certification Criteria

LIHI Contact: Lydia Grimm (503) 227-1763

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