Menomonie Hydro is remotely operated from the Wissota Hydro plant and is a partial peaking operation controlled in close coordination with water releases from Cedar Falls Hydro. The original Menomonie dam, built in 1848, was severely damaged by floods in both 1934 and 1950. In 1958 it was replaced by a new dam and power plant. The Menomonie dam creates the 1400-acre Lake Menomin which is used as an urban recreational resource.
As a source of electricity, hydropower is advantageous in that the fuel costs nothing. In addition, hydro facilities have low operating and maintenance costs, and their useful lifetime is well over 50 years.
From an environmental perspective, hydro is a clean, renewable fuel, and Xcel Energy manages its dam operations to protect the aquatic environment and improve recreational opportunities.
The Menomonie Dam creates 1,800-acre Lake Menomin, which serves as an excellent urban recreational resource. It offers boating, waterskiing, swimming and other leisure opportunities in addition to good fishing. The 2.5 mile long, one mile wide main body of the lake lies in the Menomonie city limits. Its upper reaches extend nearly to the Cedar Falls Hydro Generating Station six miles upstream.
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