The Lowell Hydroelectric Project: A Case Study

by Carol Cunningham, Morrison-Knudsen Engineers Inc, Norwalk, CT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


The Lowell Hydroelectric Project, located on the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts, consists of an existing dam, canals, and turbine generating equipment presently operating at four stations, as well as new facilities. The new facilities include a concrete powerhouse housing 15 MW of new capacity, a control structure and boat lock, fish passage facilities at the powerhouse and the dam, and repair of the Historic Northern Gate House and the Northern Canal Wall. This paper traces the development of the fish passage facilities through licensing, preliminary design, and final design, and highlights how historic preservation interests and project economics influenced the design. It also summarizes the lessons learned and includes a general discussion of problems associated with establishing criteria for the design of fish passage facilities.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Hydro power | Canals | Concrete dams | Locks (dam) | Historic buildings | Historic preservation | Construction management | Massachusetts | United States

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