The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) Governing Board has voted unanimously to hire Fred Ayer of Portland, Maine, US, as LIHI’s new Executive Director. Lydia Grimm, former Executive Director, has left to join the legal office of the Bonneville Power Administration. Ayer began his tenure on 2 June 2003.

LIHI is the only public programme to certify hydro power projects that exceed regulatory requirements for protection of environmental quality. The certification provides market benefits to the project owners in states where electricity consumers may choose their electricity suppliers or products. The programme has now certified five projects in Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho.

Prior to joining LIHI as its Executive Director, Ayer has been involved with hydro power projects for over twenty-five years. Highlights of his work as a consultant include: assisting the Avista Corporation (Spokane, WA) in the successful collaborative relicensing of its 790MW Noxon Rapids and Cabinet Gorge projects on the Clark Fork river in Montana and Idaho; advising the Catawba-Wateree Relicensing Coalition in North and South Carolina in connection with their participation in an upcoming relicensing; and leading training sessions for US Forest Service and National Park Service officials on FERC relicensing. Other training-related activity includes speaking at FERC Outreach Sessions for Alternative Licensing Processes in nine states, presenting workshops on collaborative processes at the National Conservation Training Center, lecturing regularly at a dam removal course offered by University of Wisconsin, and chairing an international panel at IWP&DC’s Uprating and Refurbishing Hydro Power Plants conference held Prague, Czech Republic in 2001.

From 1983 through 1990 he served as Director of Environmental Affairs at the Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, where he was instrumental in developing the relicensing strategy for the 13MW West Enfield project that included the removal of a dam in one river as mitigation for impacts on another.

‘We are delighted that Fred will be the new Executive Director of LIHI,’ said Richard Roos-Collins, chair of LIHI’s Governing Board. ‘He has extensive knowledge of the hydro power industry as well as the entrepreneurial experience necessary to move our certification programme forward, so that it becomes truly national in scale. We are grateful to Ms Grimm for her outstanding and pioneering work as our first Executive Director.’ The LIHI office will relocate from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine in June. For further information, visit