Cloverland Electric says it is committed to its 119-year-old hydro plant

Cloverland Electric says it continues its commitment to its 119-year-old hydroelectric facility as part of its clean energy fuel mix.

“We are fortunate to have hydroelectricity as part of our fuel mix,” said Cloverland’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Heise. “We are committed to ensuring our hydropower serves as a major component of our fuel mix to continue supplying our cooperative members with affordable, clean energy.”

Heise explains that the 36-MW facility is one of Cloverland’s greatest assets that produces about 30% of the cooperative’s power, in addition to the about 20% produced through a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hydro plant located in the Soo Locks.

To safeguard the historic hydroelectric structure and the energy it produces, the cooperative invested in measures to assure it is functioning economically, safely and at its fullest capacity. To ensure the best value for its members, the cooperative recently commissioned a comprehensive hydro facility analysis with Barr Engineering Company. Completed in December 2020, this study evaluated every extent of the hydro facility from the intake of the canal to the hydro dam and all civil works along the 2 ¼-mile canal. In addition, this study assessed the current condition of the facility and ongoing maintenance and capital projects.

“Using best industry practices, Barr Engineering provided recommendations and developed long-term capital and maintenance recommendations to ensure safe and economical operation of the hydro facility for decades to come,” said Cloverland’s Director of Generation Roger Line.

An additional study scheduled to begin this year will analyze existing turbine/generator equipment and perform a cost/benefit analysis of equipment upgrades. This analysis will assure that the cooperative maximizes its energy value from every gallon of water passing through the plant.

Cloverland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula that energizes 43,000 meters for 34,000 residential and businesses members in Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft and Delta counties.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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