Kansas’ 4.6-MW Bowersock Mills hydropower plant opening ahead of schedule

A 4.6-MW expansion of the Bowersock hydropower plant on the Kansas River could start generating power a month earlier than expected, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The new US$25 million Bowersock Mills & Power Co. hydroelectric project is located across the river from an existing 2.35-MW BMPC powerhouse that began generating electricity in 1905. The expansion received most of its funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The new powerhouse replaces the existing spillway and contains four turbine-generator units. At the time of the groundbreaking in May 2011, the plant was scheduled to begin operating in December 2012.

And although the plant will be ready for operation a month before its projected commissioning date, BMPC says it may take an additional week or more for a new inflatable bladder atop Bowersock Dam to create the head needed for the plant’s operation.

The privately-owned plant will operate under a 25-year power-purchase agreement with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities.

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