Northern Illinois Hydropower seeks license on Brandon Road project

Northern Illinois Hydropower LLC applied March 23 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a license for the proposed Brandon Road Hydropower Project at the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Ill.

The proposed powerhouse will contain four 2.0-meter-diameter Kaplan turbines coupled to 1,700-kW synchronous generators for an approximate combined maximum generating capacity of 6.8 MW at a design head of approximately 28 feet. The proposed powerhouse would have an estimated annual energy production of approximately 40,000 megawatt-hours (MWh).

NIH will control the project with an automated system that will automatically start up, run, and shut down the turbines. The automated control package will have overload, fault, and runaway speed protection. The system will allow the USACE to modify hydroelectric operations instantaneously in response to emergencies related to the lock operation or flood control. NIH proposes to operate the plant as run-of-river in a manner that does not interfere with or alter the USACE’s operations or existing flow regimes.

Currently no transmission lines exist at the Brandon Road Project. The generator output voltage of 4,160 V will be run in an underground duct bank from the powerhouse to an approximately 20-foot by 20-foot switchyard adjacent to the proposed powerhouse building on the right dam abutment. NIH proposes to install a transmission line from the proposed transformer switchyard adjacent to the powerhouse, approximately 245 feet to existing poles paralleling the Brandon Road Lock, to Brandon Road for approximately 858 feet, and then north along Brandon Road to U.S. Route 6 on existing Commonwealth Edison poles for approximately 616 feet to a new Commonwealth Edison pole installed near the existing 34,500 V overhead power line that runs along the south side of U.S. Route 6.

A project contact is: Damon Zdunich, Northern Illinois Hydropower LLC, 801 Oakland Avenue, Joliet, IL 60435, (312) 320-1610.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.