Encorp completes restoration, upgrades at historic Michigan hydropower plant

MARSHALL, Mich. 5/4/12 (PennWell) — Work at a 119-year-old hydropower plant will allow the facility to continue functioning as originally designed, says energy control company Encorp LLC.

The 27-MW Marshall hydropower plant, on the Kalamazoo River, is operated by the Michigan South Central Power Agency and still uses much of the same hydroelectric equipment that was installed during a 1920 upgrade.

The projects Encorp completed at the Marshall plant will allow it to continue functioning as originally designed, the Fort Collins, Colo.-based company says.

Encorp’s work at the plant includes a US$300,000, 500-kW microgrid, restoration of the facility’s energy protection and control equipment, and a new water pressure monitoring system.

“We performed a complicated retrofit on vintage hydroelectric units and modernized the hydros’ control system with run-the-river controls and a new web-enabled SCADA monitoring package,” says Encorp President Michael Clark.

The upgrades to the Marshall plant will not only extend its life, Clark adds, but also allows it to operate at a higher efficiency level.

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