Michigan utility plans to repair penstock at 8-MW McClure

Upper Peninsula Power Co. announced construction activities could begin as early as this fall to repair the penstock at its 8-MW McClure hydro plant.

McClure has been off-line since an expansion joint failed in November 2007 on Michigan’s Dead River.

UPPCO said STS Consultants of Marquette, Mich., completed an engineering evaluation of the wood and steel portions of the penstock. Results of that evaluation indicated a significant portion of the penstock must be replaced.

UPPCO named Barr Engineering of Ann Arbor, Mich., to provide design engineering services for the work. If construction activities begin this fall, the new penstock would be in service by the end of 2009, the utility said. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval is required before construction can begin.

�The McClure Hydro is an important generation asset for UPPCO,� Pat Fulsher, superintendent of regional generation, said. �Getting it back up and running as quickly as possible is good for UPPCO and for our ratepayers.�

The board of UPPCO’s parent company, Integrys Energy Group, has approved engineering and demolition work. The board’s approval still is required for other work.

McClure is one of two powerhouses in the 11.2-MW Dead River project (No. 10855). A dam in the project, Silver Lake Dam, was the site of an emergency fuse plug failure in May 2003. In January, UPPCO indicated it plans to rebuild the reservoir behind the failed dam, which serves both McClure and the Hoist power plant. (HNN 2/27/08)

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