The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Bureau of Water plans July 2 local public hearing in Joliet, Ill., on an application for a Section 401 water quality certification from Northern Illinois Hydropower LLC.
The company has applied for Section 401 water quality certification for impacts associated with the construction of a new powerhouse at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam at Des Plaines River mile 286 in Will County, Ill. The agency has tentatively decided to issue this permit.
The company is proposing to install four 2,000mm turbine/generator units in the power station. The design will comply with requirements set forth by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Illinois EPA for a two-inch trash rack spacing, an approach velocity of 1.5 feet per second, and a range of flows that are in excess of the first 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) available in the Des Plaines River. The project will be operated as a “run of the river” facility and have no impact on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operation of the lock and dam.
The powerhouse will be controlled with an automated system that would automatically start up, run, and shut down the turbines. The automated system would allow the Corps to modify hydroelectric operations instantaneously in response to emergencies related to lock operation or flood control. All materials will be removed from the floodway at the end of the project.
The proposed new powerhouse would contain four generating units with total installed capacity of 7.8 MW with new intake and forebay structures, configuring headrace channel, new tailrace, new transmission lines and appurtenant facilities.