Union School Hydroelectric Project - Details
Brook, on Twinfield school property, provides 150 feet of head,
making it a great hydro site. We are
working on building a damless-diversion hydro facility that would
provide our school with clean, renewable energy. (That's Brendan
and Ian with a model of the project in the photo to the right.)
divert some water out of the river, run it through a penstock,
powerhouse, and turbine before returning it to the river at a
lower point. Fish passage and sediment transport won’t
be blocked. In this small watershed (13.4 sq. mi.), we
can produce a lot of power with less water because of the large
amount of head.
Our project is designed to protect
the fish and the swimming hole. We
have worked with experts to conducted fish and flow studies, ensuring that we
will protect the aquatic life inhabiting Nasmith Brook. We will continue
to monitor the project after installation so we can make any modifications needed.
After the hydro is installed the river will still have the range
of flow variability that the aquatic life need during all life
stages. Our system is engineered
so that the brook gets “first priority” water, meaning there will
always be water in the brook (unless there is a drought). There is no possible
way that the project will dry up the river because when flows get low our proposed
design will stop operating.
We are committed to installing an environmentally
sound hydro system. We look forward to working with resource
agencies to protect the aquatic life and to reduce our school’s
energy bill ($60,000/yr). By installing our hydro we would combat
global warming by displacing the use of 230-385 tons of carbon
per year. Since our school is already heated with
biomass, we would be one of the first schools in the nation to
have all renewable power.