Michigan utility begins rebuilding Silver Lake Dam

Upper Peninsula Power Co. announced June 9 it has started rebuilding the failed Silver Lake Dam, part of the utility’s 11.2-MW Dead River hydroelectric project in Michigan.

Upper Peninsula filed an environmental report in January addressing its intent to reconstruct the reservoir, which serves the Hoist and McClure power plants, part of the Dead River project (No. 10855). (HNN 6/3/08)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the utility’s plan to rebuild the dam, which was breached by an emergency fuse plug failure in May 2003.

�This has been a long process, but every step was important to achieving a safe and operationally effective new structure,� Project Manager Bob Meyers said.

UPPCO said it plans to build a new 150-foot-long concrete spillway, lengthen and raise existing dikes, and build a new 450-foot-wide, 40-foot-tall earthen dam at the site of the breach. The company approved up to $17.6 million for the project, of which it already has spent $4.5 million to meet costs for development and design work.

Bacco Construction will provide earthmoving services and subcontracted the concrete work to CR Meyer. STS Consultants will perform quality control and inspection during construction, the utility said.

Work is scheduled to continue through fall 2008. The new dam is expected to be in place in 2009. Silver Lake could take two or more years to fill after the work is completed, depending upon precipitation, UPPCO added.

UPPCO is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group. It owns nine hydropower plants and two combustion turbines. The utility provides electricity to about 52,000 customers in ten counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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