Flambeau was built in 1969 by Lake Superior District Power Company (LSDP), which wanted to market natural gas to the residents of Park Falls and the surrounding area.
At the time, Northern Natural Gas Company did not want to spend the money to install a natural gas line, but agreed to construct the line if LSDP would build a backup power plant and guarantee a minimum number of natural gas customers. LSDP also agreed to produce steam for the Flambeau Paper Mill located nearby. The gas turbine was equipped with a waste heat boiler to produce the steam. The paper mill now produces its own steam and the waste heat boiler has not operated since 1982.
In the early 1980s, LSDP merged with Northern States Power Company (NSP), the predecessor to Xcel Energy. The Flambeau Generating Plant is now used during periods of peak energy demands.
In 2001, a new computer system was installed to upgrade the control system to current technology.
Because it is a backup generating facility, the plant most often sits quietly near the east bank of the Flambeau River. Flambeau operates less than 2,000 hours per year.
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