Thursday, May 16, 2013

PSCW approves request to build new Twin Falls powerhouse

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) issued a certificate of authority on May 13 approving our request to build a new powerhouse at the Twin Falls hydroelectric generating facility on the Menominee River. The project was approved at an estimated cost of $72.3 million, including additional funds used during construction.

Additional permits have been requested from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a license amendment application also has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). After all permits and licenses are received, the project schedule calls for construction to start in the fall of 2013, with a completion date of mid-2016.

Twin Falls, one of 13 hydroelectric power plants in our system, is located on the border of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (U.P.). While licensed to operate until 2040, the powerhouse, which was built in 1912, is in need of repair. Several alternatives were considered, including repairing the original structure, shutting it down or building a new one.

The most prudent decision was to build a new powerhouse on the Wisconsin side of the Menominee River to replace the current powerhouse on the Michigan side of the river. The project will include adding spillway capacity to meet current FERC standards.

Once the new plant is commissioned, the original plant will be removed.

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