Small-Scale Hydro in New England: 1960-1976

by Paul H. Kirshen, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Engrg.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, Va. 24060,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 31-39

Document Type: Journal Paper


A review of the capacity and licensing data on small-scale hydro (SSH) in New England in the period 1960 to 1976 is presented and compared to national and regional hydropower data. Costs of electricity data are also reviewed. Major findings are that until recently New England has followed the past national trend of decreased interest in both large-scale hydro (LSH) and SSH and of retiring small, inefficient plants. Generally, LSH has been used for peaking, SSH for run-of-the-river. Most of the present capacity in New England is privately owned; little is state or municipally owned. Since the interest in hydropower is inversely related to the costs of alternatives for producing electricity, it appears that the recent interest in SSH will continue (municipal and rural coop interest seems particularly strong).

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Hydrologic data | Electric power | Local government | Licensure and certification | Rural areas | New England | United States

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