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HydroVision International 2017
www.hydroworld.com June 2017 / HYDRO REVIEW 79
in 1912 and owns and operates seven power
generating facilities, including the Badger powerhouse. In total, 25% of the power the utility
generates comes from hydroelectric plants.
In fact, the company estimates that its use of
hydroelectric power has saved its customers
nearly $60 million over the past 10 years.
Te company determined that the total cost
of this recommendation would be $27 million.
Of this, about $10.5 million would go toward
repairing and upgrading the 130-year-old
power canal. Tis option would only have a
net 0.5% increased impact on projected rates
by 2060, compared with 4.5% for repairing and
then building a new plant in 20 years or 15% for
retiring the plant and not building new hydro.
Te old Badger plant was completed in
1908 and contained two 1-MW turbine-generator units. Te new Badger plant was completed in 1928 and contained two 1.8-MW
turbine-generator units. Te city of Kaukauna
acquired the facility in 1974. Te Badger hydro
project included a 2,100-foot-long power canal
with headworks and the two powerhouses. Te
headworks were 137 feet long and included
six tainter gates each 20 feet wide by 15 feet
high. Water levels for both powerhouses were
maintained by the adjacent Corps dam.
In May 2014, Kaukauna Utilities completed
the overhaul of the Badger plant, combining
the two old powerhouses into a single two–unit
plant with a capacity of 7 MW. During the
upgrade, both original plants were decommissioned and the new Badger powerhouse was
demolished and replaced with the new structure. Te old Badger site was then available to
repurpose for alternate use: the Hydro Park.
Developing the park
Kaukauna Utilities worked with local engineering, planning and design frm GRAEF
to create the park. Te 5-acre park is located
in downtown Kaukauna, Wis., on the Fox
River, and features an old canal.
During development of the Hydro Park,
GRAEF focused on maintaining the old canal
on the river and ensuring park visitors could
see how it used to function. “Te goal was to
make this a recreational and activity space and
an amenity and feature that enhances downtown Kaukauna,” said Patrick Skalecki, project
manager and principal for the GRAEF team.
Te GRAEF team spoke with residents,
city ofcials and Kaukauna Utilities employees
to develop a plan to use the space.
Te park contains information kiosks
where visitors can learn about the city’s history
of hydropower and the river. Two large plazas
feature river stones that mimic the shape of the
river, and granite planks provide information
about the lock system and hydropower. Te
park also features a three-blade Kaplan turbine
that had been rusting in the area in the 1970s.
In addition, the park has an outdoor per-
formance area, gathering spaces, and trail con-
nections. Events held at the park include the
Live from Hydro Park series of free summer
concerts, free yoga classes, beneft bicycle rides.
Te park cost nearly $2 million and opened
in October 2015. Since then it has hosted many
gatherings and become a vibrant part of the
landscape in downtown Kaukauna. ■
Mike Pedersen is manager, generation and operations
with Kaukauna Utilities.