Hydroplants

hydroplants.jpgThere are 25 operating Hydroelectric Power Plants on the Wisconsin River. The "hydros" harness 645 feet of the rivers fall to generate nearly one billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year - enough energy to supply the residential needs of over 300,000 people.

 

The hydroplants are owned and operated by paper companies and public utilities. The height of the dams (also known as head) range from 12.5 feet at the Otter Rapids Station to 92 feet at the Grandfather Station. The generating capacity ranges from 700 kilowatts at the Otter Rapids Station to 29.5 megawatts at the Prairie du Sac Station.

The reservoirs formed by the hydro dams range in size from only 200 acres at the Grandfather Station to over 21,000 acres at the Petenwell Station (making Petenwell the second largest lake in Wisconsin).

The Grandfather Station, owned by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation and located between Merrill and Tomahawk along Highway 107, is shown on the right.

Hydroelectric power is the worlds leading source of renewable energy.

Wisconsin River Basin Hydroplant Summary

PLANT

OWNER

RESERVOIR AREA (Acres)

HEIGHT OF DAM (Feet)

GENERATION CAPACITY (kW)

ANNUAL GENERATION (mwh)

PEOPLE SERVED (1)

Otter Rapids

Wisconsin Public Service

3,916

12.5

700

2,432

811

Rhinelander

Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC

3,576

31.8

2,120

10,728

3,576

Hat Rapids

Wisconsin Public Service

650

20.0

1,950

6,985

2,238

Kings Dam

Tomahawk Power & Pulp

1,420

23.4

2,582

10,433

3,478

Jersey

Wisconsin Public Service

709

14.5

512

3,011

1,004

Tomahawk

Wisconsin Public Service

2,733

16.0

2,600

12,206

4,069

Grandmother

Packaging Corporation of America

758

18.6

3,000

17,909

5,970

Grandfather

Wisconsin Public Service

200

92.0

17,240

101,691

33,897

Alexander

Wisconsin Public Service

803

23.0

4,200

24,103

8,034

Merrill

Wisconsin Public Service

373

14.0

2,340

6,108

2,036

Wausau

Wisconsin Public Service

284

27.5

5,400

32,375

10,792

Rothschild

DOMTAR Inc.

1,604

20.5

3,640

22,736

7,579

Mosinee

Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC

1,380

21.7

3,050

23,865

7,955

Dubay

Consolidated Water Power

7,800

25.3

7,200

43,278

14,426

Stevens Point

Consolidated Water Power

3,915

16.6

3,840

28,184

9,935

Whiting

Consolidated Water Power

240

22.0

6,340

40,343

13,448

Biron

Consolidated Water Power

2,078

23.6

6,600

39,467

13,156

Wis. Rapids

Consolidated Water Power

455

30.2

10,050

54,493

18,164

Centralia

Domtar Inc.

250

15.0

3,500

23,492

7,831

Port Edwards

Domtar Inc.

150

16.5

2,400

17,863

5,954

Nekoosa

Domtar Inc.

400

21.4

3,800

26,450

8,817

Petenwell

Wisconsin River Power Co.

25,180

41.5

20,000

101,540

33,847

Castle Rock

Wisconsin River Power Co.

14,900

34.0

15,000

93,216

31,072

Wisconsin Dells

Alliant Energy

2,150

26.6

9,600

58,454

19,485

Prairie Du Sac

Alliant Energy

9,500

38.0

29,500

135,012

45,004

Total

 

85,424

646.2

167,164

936,376

312,125

(1) Based on average annual residential electrical use of 3 mwh per person.