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- Energy Partners
Location: Jim Falls, Wis.
Generating Capacity: 57.5 megawatts
Type of Operation: Peaking
In 1984, a $92 million redevelopment project started at Jim Falls that when completed, made it the largest hydro facility in the Midwest in terms of generating capacity. The original plant was built and completed in 1923, and the redevelopment project was completed in 1988.
Features of the project include: a small bird sanctuary in the new portion of Old Abe Lake, exposed and submerged stump fields for fish habitat, a scenic overlook, nature/wildflower trails at two locations on the west bank of the river channel, a 1,200-foot canoe portage and trail with landing areas at Old Abe Lake and Lake Wissota, and a wayside with a boat landing, dock and picnic facilities. A special feature of the Jim Falls project is the handicap fishing dock at Highway 178 wayside, about five miles north of the power plant. The dock is wheelchair accessible with railed platforms and benches along its stretch. The railings of the platforms are notched to hold fishing poles securely for hands-free fishing.
During and after the Jim Falls redevelopment, Xcel Energy worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As part of the project, the company funded a WDNR study which included the implanting of radio transmitters in 22 sturgeon over a three-year period allowing the WDNR to track them and learn more about their habitats. The company also constructed a 1/4-mile wildflower trail on the west bank of the Chippewa River above the main powerhouse. Plants such as trillium, bloodroot and jack-in-the-pulpit are identified with markers along the trail.
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Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.