Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) announces it will start work on upgrades to its 5.4-MW Wausau small hydro facility in May, starting with a 14-foot drawdown of the reservoir later this month.
The upgrade project includes:
- Installation of three new gates
- Installation of a new gate heater for winter operation
- Improvements to the dam’s concrete piers
- Upgrades to the spillway electrical system
WPS completed a project assessment and engineering detail in 2018 to replace three original tainter gates on the dam to reduce leakage, improve plant efficiency and reduce operation and maintenance costs.
The Wausau drawdown is needed to allow for work on the foundation of the gates and is anticipated to last through December, during which time the fishing areas around the dam and the fishing platform below the powerhouse will be closed. The nearby canoe and kayak portage will be relocated, and additional recreation activities on the Wisconsin River will be limited to keep residents and work areas safe.
The upgrades are expected to be finished by the end of this year.
The run-of-river project has been operating since 1921, and the powerhouse contains three turbine-generator units.