Davis Hydro, LLC
A Davis Collaborative Company


Davis Hydro Active Hydro Projects

Small Hydro & The Environment

Davis Hydro believes that we have a limited sources of energy for human use and that small hydro can be one of the most benign available and should be preferentially developed over carbon based energy sources. 

Hydropower development changes the fish habitat – usually changing species that do well in the water courses.  In many cases, this change is significant, and considered negative by most evaluations.  The value judgment has to be made in the shadow of species preservation, genetic diversity, local ecology, impacts of substituted energy sources, and the economics reflecting human values.

Davis Hydro, undertakes development of environmentally benign micro-hydro projects under the leadership of Mr. Ely.  He is currently developing hydro and fish research projects in California with MS. Sackheim and in NEW England with local staff and Mr. Boeri.

Current Status of Davis Hydro Projects


  1. Nantanna: A partnership that is actively producing project on the Dog River in Northfield, Vermont. The site is active and currently producing about 1.1 GWH/year. The Dog River is arguably the best native trout stream in Vermont and we work to keep it that way.
  2. Sandy Hollow  Philadelphia New York - The site is actively producing about 2.2 GWH per year since 1992. Sandy hollow is a three unit 0.75 MW station on the Indian River. It is operated Run-of-River and is currently selling into the spot market. This site is on a polluted river we can do little about.  We do not see fish below our dam.  We have built a fish passage area, but there seems to be little for it as upstream waters are very polluted.
  3. Avery - Laconia New Hampshire- The site is characterized by the very tight level control required.  Site has been upgraded with new controls, powerhouse renovation, and dam reworking.   Production is about 1.6 GWH per year. This site is in the middle of a town between town between two major resort Lakes. Water quality is an issue. We are currently interested in putting in an eel and fish passage at this site.  Update: as of 2012, the site is finally making a small profit and we may be putting in wanted fish ladders.
  4. Brighton - Montgomery County Maryland - The site is a Water Supply Reservoir for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. The sight has two 178 KW turbines, currently limited to about 115 kW each.  The site was acquired in 2009, and is expected to produce about 1.4 - 1.6 GWH per year.  This is on a drinking water reservoir that is full of fish.  Water quality is an issue.  The downstream is a put-and take fishery that local folks want to induce a sustaining population.  Fishing pressure is overbearing.

Developing Projects                 

The following projects are being undertaken by KC Hydro LLC, which is an LLC owned primarily by Richard Ely and Kelly Sackheim.   We are engaged in the following projects. (In rough level of activity!)

  1. Kilarc-Cow Creek   - We are re-engineering this site to preventing demolition by PG&E.  PG&E is decommissioning a hydro facility.  Davis Hydro is working with the community to recommission it as a fishery enhancement project that generates both green power and enhances the fish habitat in the Cow Creek area. Expected additional benefit will be a fist class field research facility that will target steelhead. We hope to make this foundation to primary funding source for the Kilarc Foundation.

Engineered but delayed or Stopped

  1. Pit 4 Diversion Dam Retrofit - PG&E currently reviewing prior to licensing.  Pit 4 is targeted at about 1 MW river release project on a PG&E dam on the Pit River in Northern California, and is currently under environmental review and preliminary design. Main environmental issues focus on water temperature effects and fish concerns. This project is on-hold pending PG&E approval.
  2. Rock Creek  - PG&E  has apparently been taken over by PG&E.  This is a project on an existing PG&E diversion dam on the North Fork of the Feather River in Plumas County California. Its targeted production is only 400 to 500 KW due to transmission limitations.  Currently 2011, PG&E is still reviewing the project.
  3. Lewiston - Bureau of Reclamation is inhibiting this project due to agreements with Trinity County.
  4. Boca - Original Preliminary Permit  - Currently (July, 2011), we have just surrendered the Preliminary Permit by not filing a Progress report.  We cannot find an economical way to do the project.

Other projects are under discussion with PG&E.  These include retrofitting dams and canals for power.  There will be presented here as they develop. 

© 2003, Davis Hydro
A Davis Collaborative Company

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