Brookfield Renewable Hydroelectric Projects

Bear Swamp Pumped Storage

Brookfield Renewable Hydroelectric Projects

Leading Important Hydropower Relicensings in the Northeast

Brookfield Renewable is a leading generator of clean and renewable electricity across 34 North American states and provinces. Integral to Brookfield’s renewable energy portfolio are the company’s 140 hydroelectric facilities. We’ve worked alongside Brookfield for more than two decades assisting the development, acquisition, management and operation of this robust renewable energy portfolio.

Support includes:

  • Compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s dam safety requirements
  • Condition assessments
  • Generator conversions
  • Turbine upgrades
  • Long-term capital expenditure planning
  • Value preservation of these important assets through FERC’s relicensing process

HDR served as the lead consultant for two relicensings: the 666-megawatt Bear Swamp Project located along Massachusetts’s Deerfield River and the 44.5-megawatt Rumford Falls Project on Maine’s Androscoggin River.

Operations Modeling at the Bear Swamp Project

Situated amid the dense forest of New England’s Berkshire Mountains, the Bear Swamp Pumped Storage Development plays an important part in power generation and grid resiliency in New England. The facility maintains an 88-acre upper reservoir located approximately 1,600 feet above sea level, which discharges water to the lower Deerfield River to help the region meet electricity demands.

Perhaps most impressively, the station can go from zero to full capacity within three minutes. The 10-megawatt Fife Brooke Development, which creates the project’s lower reservoir, also generates clean and renewable energy for the regional grid.

In support of obtaining a new license, we’ve provided multi-phase strategic, regulatory, environmental, and technical services, as well as comprehensive studies to evaluate the project’s effect on water quality, fisheries, terrestrial habitats, cultural, recreational, and other resources in the project area.

Using HDR’s propriety Computer Hydroelectric Operations and Planning Software, or “CHEOPS,” our team created a project-specific operations model simulating flows between Bear Swamp’s upper and lower reservoirs, as well as upstream and downstream from the project. The model also serves as the foundation for simulating power generation from the Fife Brook development under various operating and seasonal scenarios in basin-wide hydrology and regulatory constraints. Because of CHEOPS, we effectively communicated modeling results with a variety of stakeholders, including local, state and federal agencies.

Preserving the Value of an Important Renewable Energy Resource

First constructed in 1918, the Rumford Falls Project is a central fixture in the town of Rumford. Located on the Androscoggin River, the hydroelectric project has helped power mills and homes in the area for centuries.  

Rumford Falls consists of two developments: the original Upper Station and the downstream Lower Station, which was added in 1954. In support of obtaining a new license and preserving the value of this important renewable energy source, we are coordinating studies evaluating how the facility’s hydropower operations influence and enhance area resources. Studies address:

  • Water quality and aquatic habitat
  • Recreation and whitewater opportunities
  • Aesthetic flows

We are helping Brookfield with stakeholder outreach and consultation throughout the relicensing process, including government agencies, community members and advocacy groups. Our team hosted virtual and in-person meetings, coordinated site visits — allowing for in-depth consultation related to hydropower operations and area resources — and incorporated stakeholder comments and feedback.  

Bear Swamp Pumped Storage

New England,
United States