The Maine Event: Worumbo Receives LIHI Certification

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The Low-Impact Hydropower Institute' s (LIHI) governing board voted unanimously on May 20th to certify the Worumbo hydroelectric dam, located on Maine' s Androscoggin River. The facility, owned and operated by the Miller Hydro Group, became Maine' s first hydroelectric project and the tenth project nationwide to receive certification as a low impact dam from LIHI, which began giving certifications in March 2001.

The LIHI certification involves a meticulous licensing process that sets standards in eight different categories, which the 19.4-megawatt Worumbo facility was able to meet. The categories include how the plant performs in addressing river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and taking into account if the dam has been recommended for removal. The voluntary certification program is intended to help consumers recognize environmentally friendly power options called “green” energy markets.

Mark Isaacson, Vice President of the Miller Hydro Group, said that the group is “delighted” to be LIHI certified, and hopes that the result will be a greater market for green electricity in New England.

LIHI Executive Director Fred Ayer said he believes other Maine projects will follow in Worumbo's footsteps. A growing interest for green electricity, together with a large class of recently relicensed hydro projects bodes well for more LIHI certifications in Maine.

For more information on LIHI, go to http://www.lowimpacthydro.org/