FERC issues permit for hydroelectric project in northern Michigan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 10 granted a June 3 application from Peterson Machinery Sales for a preliminary allowing it three years to study the feasibility of the proposed Boardman River Hydro-Electric Project, to be located on the Boardman River near Traverse City in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

The proposed project would use the existing facilities of the decommissioned Boardman Dam and Sabin Dam. It would consist of the Boardman Dam development located at River Mile 6.1 and the Sabin Dam development located at River Mile 5.3. Grand Traverse County owns both dams.

  • The Boardman Dam development would consist of: a 103-acre Boardman Pond; a 650-foot-long west earth-filled abutment, a 20-foot-wide emergency spillway, a 40-foot-long intake structure containing twin 10-foot-diameter by 73-foot-long steel penstocks leading to the powerhouse, and an approximately 150-foot-long earth-filled east abutment; and a 70-foot-long, 20-foot-wide reinforced concrete powerhouse containing a 1,000 kilowatt turbine-generator.
  • The Sabin Dam development would consist of: a 40-acre Sabin Pond; a 60-foot-long earth west embankment, a 70-foot-long by 20-foot-wide reinforced concrete powerhouse integral with the dam containing a 500 kilowatt turbine-generator, and a 52-foot-long intermediate earth embankment, a 32-foot-long stop wide spillway section, an 18-foot-wide tainter gate spillway section, and a 330-foot-long earth east embankment.

The project would generate an estimated 7,600 megawatt hours annually.

During the course of the three-year permit, the commission expects that the permittee will carry out prefiling consultation and study development leading to the possible development of a license application.

The applicant contact is: Charles R. Peterson, 9627 Seth Road, Northport, MI 49670; phone: 231-649-8706.

Said the June 3 application: “Both dams are serviced by 13,800 volt existing primary transmission lines from Traverse City Light & Power. The previous total average annual energy production was 7,600 megawatt hours based on a combined capacity of 1500 kilowatts. The Sabin and Boardman turbines, generators, controls and switchgear were installed new in 1985 and they have been well serviced and maintained. All of this equipment was purchased from Traverse City Light & Power by the applicant, Peterson Machinery Sales, in 2007.”

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.