Change in Ownership of Sebec Dam
Change in Ownership at Sebec Dam
On November 30, 2007 the assets of Sebec Electric Limited Partnership were sold to: Ampersand Sebec Lake Hydro LLC c/o Ampersand Energy Partners LLC 717 Atlantic Avenue, Ste 1A Boston, MA 02111.
Prior to that date the former owners engaged the Swift River Hydro Operations to carry out the most extensive overhaul of the dam facility in the past 25-years. The turbines were overhauled and the gates were repaired essentially rebuilding them with new steel rollers, cleaning corrosion from the gate guides, strengthening corroded areas where the rollers were attached, installing new seals along the bottom of each gate and J-seals along the sides of the gates. A number of concrete areas within the flumes where spalling had started due to submersion of the flume over the last 25 years were repaired. Additionally, all the cracks on the dam and its concrete apron were sealed, and divers worked on numerous small leaks found on the up-stream side of the timber crib dam.
Once the units were made operational again the PLC system was activated for controlling the lake level using the lake level control system. The work took over six weeks to complete.
Following is the Maine Board of Environmental Protection approved Small Hydroelectric Generating Facilities Permit and Water Quality Certification for the Sebec Dam for the purpose of generating hydroelectric power:
A. Except as temporarily modified by (1) approved maintenance activities, (2) extreme hydrologic conditions as defined below, (3) emergency electrical system conditions as defined below, or (4) agreement between the applicant, appropriate state and/or federal agencies, and the Sebec Lake Association, and commencing October 1, 2005 the project shall be operated in a run-of-the river mode, with outflow approximately equal to the inflow on an instantaneous basis except during flashboard failure or replacement, and with Sebec Lake levels maintained within six inches of full pond elevation (that is between elevations 322.8 and 322.3 feet) when flashboards are in place and within three inches of spillway crest elevation (that is, between elevations 321.3 and 321.0 feet) when flashboards are not in place.
B. “Extreme Hydrologic Conditions” means the occurrence of events beyond the applicant’s control, such as, but not limited to, abnormal precipitation, extreme runoff, flood conditions, ice conditions or other hydrologic conditions such as the operational restrictions and requirements contained herein are impossible to achieve or are inconsistent with safe operation of the project.
C. “Emergency Electrical System Conditions” means operating emergencies beyond applicant’s control which require changes in flow regimes to eliminate such emergencies which may in some circumstances include but are not limited to equipment failure or other abnormal temporary operating condition, generating unit operation or third party mandated interruptions under power supply emergencies; and orders from local, state, or federal law enforcement or public safety authorities.
D. Notwithstanding Part A of this condition, the lake level shall whenever possible be drawn down in late winter to help reduce seasonal flooding, with a target lake level of 317.8 feet on or before March 31st, and a minimum flow of 40 cfs, as established in Condition 3 of this permit, shall be maintained at all times. A three-member Sebec Dam Liaison Committee of the Sebec Lake Association has been formed to establish an ongoing dialog with new owners of the dam. RBH (5/12/2008)