Lower Connecticut River Relicensing Study

Assessing hydro system operations with hourly simulation models

TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc. | USA | 2012–2016

Revision of river system models for updated license conditions
Extension of the natural hydrologic record
Modeling aquatic habitat suitability indices


  • TransCanada Hydro Northeast is in the process of acquiring a new FERC license for its three most downstream projects in New Hampshire and Vermont: Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon. 
  • The licensing process requires extensive studies to be undertaken regarding current system operations and its effects on the geomorphology, other resource, and aquatic life in the impounded and riverine areas of the three projects.
  • Operations modeling of the projects needs to be conducted and project-effect indices provided to other study consultants.


  • Vista DSS™ was set up and validated for TransCanada Hydro generating facilities on the Connecticut River to simulate hourly operations of the system.
  • In order to adequately capture the effect of the project operations, short river reaches within an hour's travel time were defined in segments for the three projects to be relicensed and then configured in the system.
  • Rating curves of project-effects-evaluation indices from resource study consultants were defined in the AUTO Vista DSS™ database.


  • AUTO Vista results provided information on project effects for evaluation by other study consultants.
  • AUTO Vista analysis and processes streamlined the evaluation of project effects on impounded and riverine areas.
  • AUTO Vista allows analysis of various alternative operating policies to define the effects of changes in operating policy.

Project numbers

507 MW in Connecticut River system
3 upper storage lakes
6 hydro plants in cascade

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