The peaking operated Wissota Hydroelectric Plant is located on the Chippewa River just northeast of the City of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Wissota is the control center for a majority of the Xcel Energy hydro units. Completed in 1918, Wissota hydro represents the labor of some 700 workers who lived in a small town built at the site. When the project area was flooded, it created the 6200 acre Lake Wissota at the confluence of the Chippewa and Yellow Rivers and Paint Creek. Residents and vacationers enjoy boating, sailing, fishing and winter sports on Lake Wissota.
Wissota Hydro provides daily peaking power to meet the high mid-day energy demands during the week. To permit this mode of operation, water coming down the Chippewa River is retained in Lake Wissota and released through the turbines as needed. This results in rising water levels in lake Wissota of up to one-foot over the course of a week.
Lake Wissota itself is the most well-known aspect of Wissota Hydro. Residents and vacationers enjoy boating, waterskiing, sailing, fishing and winter sports on the lake. Lake Wissota State Park is also nearby.
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