|Current status||Active |
|Type of facility||Conventional Hydro|
|Mode of hydropower generation||Run-of-river|
|Type of permit||FERC License|
|FERC docket #||P-2486|
Ownership and operation
|Owner||Wisconsin Electric Power Co|
|Owner type||Investor-Owned Utility|
|Year first online (conventional hydro)||1922|
|Transmission or distribution system owner||American Transmission Co|
Power and generating capacity
|Number of units||2|
|Total capacity from hydraulic turbine-generator units within each plant||3.2 mW|
|Average annual net hydropower generation||12,014.2 mWH|
The Pine Project is a 3.6 MW hydropower project owned by Wisconsin Electric (WE) on the Pine River, a tributary to the Menominee River in northeastern Wisconsin. It is part of the mitigation package for the 1998 Wilderness Shores Settlement Agreement that re-licensed eight other WE projects in the Menominee basin. Under the Settlement, WE agreed to remove Pine Dam when its license expired in 2025 providing the Resource Agencies still supported removal. The consultation process for removal was scheduled to begin in 2020. However, in 2015 WE initiated consultation with the Wisconsin DNR only, indicating a desire to pursue relicensing rather than removal, and the Wisconsin DNR unilaterally supported this. In 2019, WE formally proposed a 15-year license extension for the Pine Project. The WDNR reversed its position, stating that eventual dam removal was its goal. The other Resource Agency and NGOs were united in opposition to the extension, asserting that WE did not follow the prescribed consultation process and that not removing the dam would result in a mitigation deficit in the Wilderness Shores Settlement Agreement.
FERC granted the 15-year license extension for the Pine Project license extension request on November 19th (2-1 vote). The Commission’s rationale was that it would align the Project’s license expiration date with the other 15 projects in the Menominee River basin (2040). The Commission acknowledged the Wilderness Shores Settlement Agreement but stated that the parties may seek relief in a court of appropriate jurisdiction if they feel WE’s license extension request violates the WSSA.