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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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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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How We Installed a New Spillway Wall at a Private Hydropower Dam

Posted by Ian Radcliffe on November 16, 2020

102 years of lateral earth pressure and deterioration at Pisgah Dam caused its existing spillway wall to lean. Partnering with private dam owner Otter Tail Power Company, Brennan ensured their hydropower dam received necessary repairs. The project included concrete demolition and the replacement of the dam's north spillway wall over two years.

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How to Ace a FERC Hydropower Dam Inspection [NEW]

Posted by Rory Alsberg on September 01, 2020

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity in the United States. An important duty of FERC is to monitor conditions of the more than 1,700 non-federal, electricity-generating dams in the US. They also set standards that hydropower project owners must follow to ensure the safety of the general public. This includes mandating regular inspections of hydropower projects to certify they are in sound condition and comply with the Commission’s safety standards. Owners not in compliance with the Commission’s inspection standards risk losing their power generating license.

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How to Successfully Stabilize Dams Utilizing Post-Tensioned Anchors

Posted by Dave Laack on May 01, 2018

Lock and dam and hydropower infrastructure face numerous unique challenges when it comes to improving the safety and reliability of existing dams. An important structural enhancement for dam stabilization projects is the installation of high-capacity post-tensioned anchors, which may supplement or replace existing anchors.

According to the Post-Tensioning Institute, post-tensioned rock and soil anchors provide a cost-efficient, high-performance solution for projects needing both temporary and permanent stabilization solutions.

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