Skyway News: Crown Hydro

Power paradox: clean hydropower versus riverfront beauty
Hydropower would cut the flow over the St. Anthony Falls spillway by Scott Russell

Park Board poised to vote on Mill Ruins power plant that would reduce St. Anthony Falls flow.

A proposed $10 million, 3.2-megawatt hydroelectric plant that could reduce St. Anthony Falls’ flow will reach a critical Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board vote as early as Wednesday, March 17.

Crown Hydro LLC needs to secure a Park Board lease by April 13 or it will miss a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) deadline. FERC licenses power plants.

The plant would go in the upstream end of the new Mill Ruins Park, on the river’s west bank. The Park Board will hold a public hearing March 17 and take a final vote April 7, said Park Board President Jon Olson.

The vote poses a significant dilemma for some Park Board commissioners.