Environmental Mitigation at Hydroelectric Projects, Volume 2: Benefits and Costs of Fish Passage and Protection

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Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by Idaho National Engineering Laboratory


mitigation, hydroelectric, fish passage, protection, upstream, downstream fish passage, survey, hydroelectric plants, fish ladder, Eicher screen, inclined screen, wedgewire, wedgewire screens, screens, traveling screen, monitoring

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This study examines environmental mitigation practices that provide upstream and downstream fish passage and protection at hydroelectric projects. The study includes a survey of fish passage and protection mitigation practices at 1,825 hydroelectric plants regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to determine frequencies of occurrence, temporal trends, and regional practices based on FERC regions. The study also describes, in general terms, the fish passage/protection mitigation costs at 50 non-Federal hydroelectric projects. Sixteen case studies are used to examine in detail the benefits and costs of fish passage and protection. The 16 case studies include 15 FERC licensed or exempted hydroelectric projects and one Federally-owned and operated hydroelectric project. The 16 hydroelectric projects are located in 12 states and range in capacity from 400 kilowatts to 840 megawatts. The fish passage and protection mitigation methods at the case studies include fish ladders and lifts, an Eicher screen, spill flows, airburst-cleaned inclined and cylinderical wedgewire screens, vertical barrier screens, and submerged traveling screens. The costs, benefits, monitoring methods, and operating characteristics of these and other mitigation methods used at the 16 case studies are examined.

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