In re N. Hartland, LLC, 2816-050

CourtFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
Citation182 FERC ¶ 61, 086
Docket Number2816-050
PartiesNorth Hartland, LLC
Decision Date16 February 2023

182 FERC ¶ 61,086

North Hartland, LLC

No. 2816-050

United States of America, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

February 16, 2023

Before Commissioners: Willie L. Phillips, Acting Chairman; James P. Danly, Allison Clements, and Mark C. Christie.


1. On November 26, 2019, North Hartland, LLC (North Hartland) filed, pursuant to sections 4(e) and 15 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),[1] an application for a new license to continue operating and maintaining the 4.137-megawatt (MW) North Hartland Hydroelectric Project No. 2816 (North Hartland Project). The project is located on the Ottauquechee River in Windsor County, Vermont, and uses water from the impoundment (North Hartland Lake) created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) North Hartland Dam. The project currently occupies 20.8 acres of federal land under the jurisdiction of the Corps.[2]

2. As discussed below, this order issues a new license for the North Hartland Project.

I. Background

3. The Commission issued the original license for the project on November 24, 1981, with an effective date of December 1, 1981, and an expiration date of November 30, 2021.[3] On May 15, 2007, the Commission approved an amendment to the North Hartland Project's license to remove a 6-mile segment of the North Hartland Project's


transmission line and issued a separate transmission line license for the 6-mile segment, designated as the Clay Hill Road Line 66 Transmission Project No. 12766 (Clay Hill Project). [4] Since the expiration date, project operation has continued under an annual license pending the disposition of North Hartland's application.[5]

4. On August 27, 2020, the Commission issued a public notice that was published in the Federal Register accepting the application for filing, indicating the application was ready for environmental analysis, and setting October 26, 2020, as the deadline for filing motions to intervene, protests, comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and fishway prescriptions. [6] The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (Vermont ANR)[7]filed a notice of intervention and recommendations on October 26, 2020.[8] Vermont ANR does not oppose the project. The U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) filed comments and recommendations on October 28, 2020. Interior also does not oppose the project.

5. Commission staff issued an environmental assessment (EA) on April 28, 2022, analyzing the effects of the proposed project and alternatives to it, and setting a deadline for comments of June 12, 2022. [9] The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation


(Vermont DHP)[10] filed comments on the EA on May 27, 2022. North Hartland filed reply comments on June 9, 2022. Vermont ANR filed comments on the EA on June 13, 2022.

6. The intervention, comments, and recommendations have been fully considered in determining whether, and under what conditions, to issue the license.

II. Project Description

A. Project Area

7. The Ottauquechee River is approximately 38 miles long, from its headwaters in the eastern slopes of the Green Mountains in the town of Killington, Vermont, to its confluence with the Connecticut River approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the project. The Ottauquechee River Basin has a total drainage area of 223 square miles. The North Hartland Project is located at river mile (RM) 1.5 on the Ottauquechee River in Windsor County, Vermont.

8. There are seven dams on the Ottauquechee River, six of which are used for hydropower generation.[11] The non-hydropower dam is used primarily for recreation.

9. Land in the project vicinity is forested and interspersed with commercial and residential uses.

B. Existing Corps Facilities

10. North Hartland Dam and Lake are owned and operated by the Corps for flood control, and accordingly are not licensed project features. North Hartland Dam includes a 1,640-foot-long, 185-foot-high rolled earth, rockfill dam with a maximum elevation of 572 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29), a 2,110-foot-long, 52-foot-high dike, and an L-shaped spillway cut in rock with a 465-foot-long concrete ogee on a Sunday (i.e., June 12, 2022), the filing deadline was extended until the close of business on Monday, June 13, 2022.


weir and a crest elevation of 546.5 feet NGVD29.[12] North Hartland Lake has a surface area of 215 acres and a depth of 35 feet at a pool elevation of 425 feet NGVD29. North Hartland Lake can store approximately 71,198 acre-feet of water up to a full pond elevation of 546.5 feet NGVD29 (i.e., at the spillway crest) for flood control purposes. The Corps' facilities also include: (1) an intake structure in the North Hartland Dam that includes: (a) 49-foot-wide, 59.75-foot-long, 195-foot-high intake control tower; (b) three 5.67-foot-wide, 12-foot-high intake gates with a sill elevation of 390.0 feet NGVD29; and (c) a 37-foot-wide, 58-foot-long, 12- to 35-foot-high intake channel; and (2) a 743-foot-long gated concrete conduit that passes under the North Hartland Dam and has a diameter of 14.33 feet, with a 12-foot-diameter steel liner. The Corps releases water from North Hartland Lake to the North Hartland Project via the conduit.

C. Hydropower Facilities

11. Water flows from the Corps' conduit to the project's 476-foot-long, 12-foot- diameter steel penstock and a butterfly valve to a 4.0-megawatt (MW) adjustable blade, vertical shaft main turbine-generator unit located in a 59-foot-long, 40-foot-wide concrete powerhouse. The project also includes three 40-foot-high trashracks with 2-inch clear bar spacing located on the Corps' intake gates.

12. The penstock also provides water to a 12-foot-diameter, 187.23-foot-long bypass conduit that branches off the penstock approximately 190 feet upstream of the powerhouse. Water in the bypass conduit passes through an 8.33-foot-wide, 12-foot-high bypass control gate to an 8.33- to 21.5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long, concrete-lined outlet channel that passes water downstream into the Ottauquechee River.

13. The bypass conduit also provides water to a 30-inch-diameter, 110.58-foot-long steel penstock that branches off the bypass conduit about 50 feet upstream of the bypass control gate. The 30-inch-diameter steel penstock provides flow to a 0.137-MW fixed blade, horizontal shaft minimum flow turbine-generator unit located on a 12-foot-wide, 7.67-foot-long concrete platform outside of the powerhouse. The total installed capacity of the main turbine-generator and the minimum flow turbine-generator is 4.137 MW.

14. The bypass conduit also provides water to a 16- to- 18-inch-diameter, 60-foot-long minimum flow pipe that branches off the bypass conduit approximately 15 feet upstream of the bypass control gate. The minimum flow pipe enters the powerhouse and bifurcates to two 16-inch-diameter butterfly valves that provide flow to two 16-inch minimum flow pipes that empty into the tailrace.


15. Flows from the main turbine, outlet channel, minimum flow turbine, and minimum flow pipes are discharged into a 400-foot-long, 50 to 150-foot-wide tailrace channel. The project bypasses approximately 500 feet of the Ottauquechee River.

16. The project generators connect to a transformer that steps up the voltage of the electricity produced by the project from 4.16 kilovolts (kV) to 12.5 kV. Project power is transmitted through a 600-foot-long, 12.5-kV underground transmission line and a 4,000-foot-long, 12.5-kV overhead transmission line to the Clay Hill transmission line that carries electricity to the regional grid. There is also an underground control cable that extends from the powerhouse to the Corp's intake control tower and allows the Corps to shut down the North Hartland Project during major flood events.

17. There are no project recreation facilities. A more detailed description of the project facilities is contained in ordering paragraph (B)(2).

D. Project Boundary

18. The current project boundary encloses approximately 20.8 acres, including the project facilities listed above. Approximately 1.85 acres of the project boundary includes the Corps' intake control tower, intake gates, and conduit under the dam. All land within the current project boundary is federal land, under the jurisdiction of the Corps.

E. Corps Operation

19. The Corps operates North Hartland Dam as part of a system of reservoirs and local protection works for flood control in the Connecticut River Basin. When the water level of North Hartland Lake is greater than 440 feet NGVD29, the Corps manages lake levels by releasing water through North Hartland's bypass control gate. During this time, the Corps requires North Hartland to shut off the North Hartland Project's main turbinegenerator unit but allows North Hartland to withdraw water from North Hartland Lake through the minimum flow turbine to comply with minimum flow requirements at the project.

20. If North Hartland Lake is greater than 546.5 feet NGVD29 (spillway crest elevation), the Corps manages lake levels by releasing water through a combination of North Hartland 's bypass control gate and over the spillway.

F. Current Project Operation

21. Pursuant to a January 3, 2012 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between North Hartland and the Corps,[13] North Hartland uses water released from the Corps' North


Hartland Lake, through the Corps' intake structure and conduit, to generate electricity. When generating, North Hartland conveys water from the penstock to the main turbinegenerator unit, where it is then discharged to the project tailrace and the Ottauquechee River. The penstock also provides water to the bypass conduit, which provides water to the minimum flow turbine-generator, minimum flow pipes, and bypass control gate. Water from the minimum flow turbine-generator, minimum flow pipes, and bypass control gate passes into the tailrace, outlet channels, and the Ottauquechee River.


To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT