Kaukauna Utilities completes upgrade to Badger small hydroelectric plant

Badger Small Hydropower Plant

Kaukauna Utilities marked the completion of an overhaul to its Badger small hydropower project earlier this week with a formal dedication ceremony.

The 7-MW plant, which formerly included the 105-year old "old" Badger and 85-year old "new" Badger, was combined into a single two-unit plant that has more capacity than the previous two plants combined.

The Boldt Company, which served as general contractor for the project, was responsible for overseeing many of the major works associated with the upgrade.

Amongst these were:

  • The installation of temporary cofferdams;
  • The removal and widening of the plant's power canal walls;
  • The installation of 3,550 feet of new power canal walls;
  • The decommissioning of both original plants;
  • The demolition of the "new" Badger powerhouse and replacing it with a new structure; and
  • The repurposement of the "old" Badger powerhouse for alternate use.

The Wisconsin-based company also helped coordinate with the utility, area residents and an adjacent school to maintain safety around the project site.

Voith was also involved in the project, with Voith Hydro supplying two Kaplan turbines and automation equipment. Meanwhile, Voith Hydro provided speed increasers.

"The Badger hydro plant is an exciting project not only for Kaukauna Utilities and its customers, it's one of Voith's flagship projects," Voith chief operating officer Stan Kocon said. "The Badger plant seamlessly combines technology from two of Voith's divisions in a power plant that will provide additional clean and renewable power to Kaukauna Utilities customers for generations to come."

Kaukauna's retrofitting of the Badger plant reflects a growing trend within America's hydropower industry, Voith said, with an emphasis on upgrading existing facilities and adding capacity to non-power infrastructure.

"Though hydropower is one of our oldest sources of energy, it remains one of the most dynamic," Kocon said.

For more rehabilitation and upgrade news, visit here.

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