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Hydro dam, refurbished in part by Voith, goes online

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Two old hydropower plants in Kaukauna, Wis., that Voith Hydro helped refurbish have been combined into one plant, which is now operational.

The Badger Hydro Plant brings together the hydraulic capacity of the 105-year-old “old” Badger plant and the 85-year-old “new” Badger plant into a single 2-unit plant resulting in more capacity than the previous two plants combined, according to a news release from Voith.

Voith Hydro, which has a facility in West Manchester Township, York County, supplied two Kaplan turbines and automation equipment, while Voith Turbo provided the speed increases. The 7 MW plant has a 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is estimated that 4,000 households will benefit from the plant, according to the release.

“The Badger Hydro Plant is an exciting project not only for Kaukauna Utilities and its customers, it’s one of Voith’s flagship projects,” Voith Chief Operating Officer Stan Kocon said in the release. “The Badger Plant seamlessly combines technology from two of Voith’s divisions in a power plant that will provide additional clean and renewable power to Kaukauna Utilities customers for generations to come.”

The Badger Hydro Plant is typical of hydro projects in the United States, the company said. Many utilities and developers are retrofitting existing hydropower plants to increase output, or turning to the United States’ approximately 80,000 nonpowered dams and other water infrastructure to add hydropower production. Voith Hydro is involved with many of these projects, including the completed expansion of PPL Generation’s Holtwood Hydroelectric Facility on the Susquehanna River between York and Lancaster counties, AMP’s Ohio River projects, and Missouri River Energy Services’ Red Rock Hydroelectric project in Iowa, according to the release.

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