Weston - FERC #2325.The Weston Project, located on the Kennebec River in Somerset County, Maine, is a run-of-river, 12 MW facility owned and operated by CMP. The project is comprised of a powerhouse containing four generating units, two dams separated by an island, a 930 acre impoundment and appurtenant facilities. The powerhouse and dam are located in Skowhegan, 37.8 miles above the head-of-tide. The applicant is investigating the feasibility of replacing the existing turbine runners with new more efficient ones which would increase the total station hydraulic capacity by about 1,180 cfs and generating capacity by 2 MW. The water quality classification for the Kennebec River from the Route 201A bridge in Anson/Madison to the Skowhegan/Fairfield town line (which includes the entire Weston Project area) is Class B. Class B is the third highest water quality classification. The applicant proposal involves several measures for protecting and enhancing environmental resources including:
• Continuing to operate the project in a run-of-river mode, with minimal impoundment fluctuations under normal operating conditions, in order to protect water quality and fish and wildlife resources in the river above the dam;
• Providing a minimum flow release from the project of 1,947 cfs or inflow, whichever is less, in order to protect water quality and fish and wildlife resources in the river below the dam;
• Installing permanent upstream and downstream fish passage facilities at the project by May 1, 2001, in accordance with the Agreement between the State of Maine and the Kennebec Hydro Developers' Group in order to restore anadromous fish to the river above the dam.
• Maintaining and improving the landscaped area in front of the powerhouse, providing signage regarding the Arnold Trail at the powerhouse and expanding the existing parking area at Oosoola Park in Norridgewock. A proposal to lengthen the existing boat ramp is being investigated and will be implemented if needed. All of these efforts are being made to preserve and enhance recreational opportunities in the project area.
The State finds that the proposal to relicense the Weston project represents an appropriate balnce of resources and uses and that it conforms with State policy.