Mayor Rybak, legislative leaders praise new hydropower project in the heart of Minneapolis
Mississippi River project promotes clean energy, creates jobs
November 5, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak joined legislative leaders today to tour the construction site of a new 10 megawatt Lower Saint Anthony Falls hydroelectric project. The project, which is owned by Brookfield Renewable Power and Spaulding Consultants, is at peak construction and is slated to be completed by the end of 2010.
Once up and running, the project will create 63,000 megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year for Minnesota, the equivalent of 37,000 barrels of oil and enough energy to power 7,500 homes annually. Construction of the hydroelectric project creates 75 skilled labor positions over the course of the 18 month construction. Right now, during peak construction, there are as many as 40 workers on the site.
"This is where we see green jobs at work – right in the heart of Minneapolis," said Mayor Rybak. "This hydropower project will produce clean, renewable energy by the end of next year, but today it is producing high quality jobs at a time when Minnesota’s economy and workers need them most. This is an excellent example of how federal stimulus dollars can benefit from a multiplier effect when state and local partners are part of the equation."
The Lower Saint Anthony Falls hydroelectric project was made possible in part because of incentive payments encouraging renewable power generation, specifically Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) payments from the Renewable Development Fund. The project should also qualify for clean energy tax credits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"Last session, the legislature made a commitment to create jobs in part by making smart energy investments," said Rep. Kate Knuth (DFL-New Brighton), who carried legislation in the House to extend incentive payments for the hydropower project. "This is an example of how incentives can provide a return on the investment – we are creating good-paying clean energy jobs and converting some of Minnesota’s vast natural resources into clean, renewable power."
"Improving the way we generate and use energy will improve our economy, create jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said Rep. Hilty, Chair of the House Energy Policy and Finance Committees. "This is an excellent example of the kind of innovative energy projects we need to promote throughout Minnesota."
Mayor Rybak, Rep. Bill Hilty, Chair of the House Energy Policy and Finance Committees, Sen. Ellen Anderson, Chair of the Senate Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division, and REPI bill authors Rep. Kate Knuth and Sen. Scott Dibble, along with other members of the House and Senate, joined the project’s owners for a tour of the new facility, which is being built adjacent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
When complete, the Lower St. Anthony Falls hydropower project will channel approximately 6,200 cubic feet per second of water from the Mississippi River through 16 StraflowMatrixTM turbine-generators to generate power. The StraflowMatrixTM technology, manufactured by Andritz Hydro, is a leading developer of hydropower at low-head sites with existing dam or gate structures.
The site of the current project did once host a conventional hydropower facility until it failed and was removed in 1987. Subsequent attempts to restore hydropower to the lock and dam using conventional technologies were dismissed as not technologically, nor economically viable.
Steve Mockler, Brookfield’s Project Manager explains, "We are out here constructing 10 new megawatts of clean energy today because of the combination of the StraflowMatrix technology solution, the emergence of federal incentives for hydropower and the state’s REPI program. Brookfield is pleased to bring our vast hydropower experience to develop, build and operate this important project."
About Brookfield Renewable Power
Brookfield Renewable Power Inc. has more than 100 years of experience as an owner, operator and developer of hydroelectric power facilities. In the United States, the company has a total portfolio of 100 hydropower generating facilities generating over 2,000 megawatts of capacity, including two other facilities on the Mississippi River: the Twin Cities Hydroelectric project in St. Paul, MN (aka the Ford Hydropower plant), and the Sydney Murray project near Vidalia, LA. For more information on Brookfield and the Lower St. Anthony Falls Hydroelectric Project visit: www.brookfieldpower.com or contact:
Director, Communications, U.S. Operations
Brookfield Renewable Power
Published Nov. 5, 2009