Brookfield Power buys historic 17.92-MW Ford project

Brookfield Power announced May 29 it signed an agreement to acquire Ford Motor Co.’s 17.92-MW Ford hydroelectric project in St. Paul, Minn.

Ford Motor Co. previously pre-qualified eight bidders to purchase the U.S. project on the Mississippi River. (HNN 12/20/06) Ford Motor Land Development Corp., a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., handled the sale.

The project has powered Ford’s Ranger truck assembly plant, scheduled to close in 2008. It is Ford’s only hydropower plant, which also generates electricity for sale to Xcel Energy. The hydro plant generates about 100 gigawatt-hours annually.

The Ford project, previously known as Twin Cities, features a dam and 83-year-old power plant. The Corps of Engineers built the dam in 1917 in anticipation of hydropower. Ford completed the hydro plant in 1924 at a cost of about $1 million.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 30-year relicense for continued operation of the project in 2004. (No. 362)

Brookfield Power said the transaction is conditioned on various approvals, including those of regulatory agencies. It expects all approvals will be forthcoming by year’s end.

Earlier this year, Brookfield Power purchased part ownership interest in SAF Hydroelectric LLC, licensee for the proposed 8.98-MW Lower St. Anthony Falls project, also on the Mississippi River, located upstream of the Ford hydro plant. (HNN 3/12/07)

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