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Minnesota Power Hydro Dam: The New Era of Renewable Energy

Posted by Kimberly Walters on February 12, 2024

We're at Minnesota Power's hydroelectric dam in Scanlon, Minnesota, to replace 7 of the structure's Tainter gates. Extending the life of this renewable energy source by 50 to 100 years, the Scanlon Dam Gate Replacement Project enables the further creation of clean, renewable power provided to local communities. 

We were pulled into the project very early on during the design phase of the project. Both Brennan and Minnesota Power attribute the project's success to early contractor involvement.

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Underwater Acoustic Deterrent System: Upgrades to Protect the Great Lakes from Invasive Carp

Posted by Kimberly Walters on January 18, 2024

We are at the Lock and Dam 19 facility in Keokuk, Iowa, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Our team replaced an 18,000-LB, 105-FT underwater soundbar with wet-mateable connections (cables and speakers that can be connected and disconnected underwater). This underwater acoustic deterrent system (UADS) upgrade allows divers to replace individual speakers if underperforming rather than continuing to remove the entire system.

Why? The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is spearheading a 3-year study to reduce the number of invasive carp moving toward the Great Lakes. It is the only study on the Mississippi River evaluating a deterrent for invasive carp. 

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The Year's Best: Our Most Impactful Marine Industry Articles You Won't Want to Miss

Posted by Kimberly Walters on December 22, 2023

This year, Brennan's blog posts garnered an impressive readership of over 27,000. An analysis of our most searched topics identified the most significant issues in the environmental and marine construction industries, including those most relevant to our company's operations. This leads us to the question: What were our industry's most frequently researched topics?

We've examined Brennan's most popular articles of the year -- let's count them down!

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Dam Rehabilitation and Operational Updates to 100-Year-Old Structure

Posted by Kimberly Walters on August 09, 2023

Sandy Lake Dam is owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Paul District. The USACE identified that the original concrete structure needed repairs and improvements to address immediate safety concerns. Because the dam structure was more than 100 years old, the USACE used this as an opportunity to have Brennan rehabilitate the dam and update many of its operational features.

Our new video shows you how we did it! 

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Hydropower Expert Aims to Bridge Gap in Renewable Energy Market

Posted by Kimberly Walters on March 01, 2023

J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) announces the promotion of Christopher Rousseau, P.E., F. ASCE to Hydro and Renewable Energy Market Leader. Rousseau’s promotion is announced concurrently with Brennan’s strategic objective to further invest in renewable energy development.

Rousseau will use decades of experience in hydroelectric generation working for Midwest-based utility, Minnesota Power, to support the repair and rehabilitation needs of Brennan’s hydro dam clients. Catering to a huge need for early contractor involvement; Rousseau is bridging the gap between hydroelectric dam owners, engineers, and the contractor teams that perform inspections, maintenance, and rehabilitation work.

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Repairing Fish Guidance Nets at a Hydropower Dam

Posted by Lauren Collins, Senior Project Manager on January 20, 2023

Our Pacific Northwest crew mobilized at a hydroelectric facility to repair a fish guidance net at Upper Baker Dam. Upper Baker Dam is 1 of 2 hydroelectric dams on Baker River, near Concrete, WA. The entire Baker River Hydroelectric Project covers nearly 300 square miles.

Upper Baker Dam, a 312-foot-high concrete gravity dam completed in 1959, has a floating surface collector system responsible for attracting and safely holding juvenile salmon for downstream transport around the dam. We supplied dive and topside support teams to assist the prime contractor with the recovery, disassembly, and installation of a new floatation collar on the existing barrier net. This is an essential repair to ensure safe fish passage around the dam.

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Brennan Welcomes Hydro Expert Christopher Rousseau, P.E., F. ASCE

Posted by Kimberly Walters on March 10, 2022

Marine construction firm J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) is excited to announce the addition of new Senior Estimator, Government Relations and Hydro Operations Manager Christopher Rousseau, P.E., F. ASCE to its team.

“We are fortunate to have Chris join our team,” says Vice President of Business Development Mark Binsfeld. “His firsthand knowledge of hydroelectric generation and surrounding regulatory factors will allow us to serve our clients more effectively.”

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Why Getting a Contractor’s Constructability Review Matters

Posted by Derek Armstrong and William Simons on November 16, 2021

Constructability reviews are imperative to project success. They can save you money, reduce the risk of cost escalation, and are often provided pro-bono by a good contractor. When it comes to requesting a contractor's constructability review, timing is important. If the review is performed too late, problems could result, including confusion surrounding the project, loss of significant time and money, and hefty change orders later in the project. The question then is: when is the optimal time to have a contractor perform a constructability review?

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Brennan Opens a New Mid-South Location in Paducah, KY

Posted by Kimberly Walters on May 04, 2021

J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) recently established a permanent presence in the Mid-South Region. Our company’s new Mid-South location is in Paducah, Kentucky, and will provide all Brennan services, including above and below-water construction and environmental remediation services.

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Executing Major Rehab on an Existing Lock in 105 Days

Posted by Brady Wateland, Project Manager on March 18, 2021

80 years old and 35 years since its last rehab, LaGrange Lock and Dam in Versailles, IL was in major need of rehabilitation. Brennan partnered with prime contractor Shimmick Construction (Shimmick) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Rock Island District, along with hundreds of crew members, to execute quality repairs through the existing lock.

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