|Current status||Active |
|Type of facility||Conventional Hydro|
|Mode of hydropower generation||Run-of-river|
|Type of permit||FERC License|
|FERC docket #||P-2785|
|FERC project name||Sanford|
Ownership and operation
|Owner||Boyce Hydro Power LLC|
|Owner type||Private Non-utility|
|Year first online (conventional hydro)||1923|
|Transmission or distribution system owner||Consumers Energy Co|
Power and generating capacity
|Number of units||3|
|Total capacity from hydraulic turbine-generator units within each plant||3.6 mW|
|Average annual net hydropower generation||8,613.7 mWH|
The Sanford Dam failed in May 2020 as a result of the upstream breach of Edenville Dam.
FERC revoked the license at Edenville in 2018 after more than a decade of dam safety violations and non-compliance.
“The dam, owned by Boyce Hydro Power since 2007, used to produce a small amount of electricity until a dispute with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission culminated with the agency revoking the company’s license to use the dam for electrical generation in 2018. The agency said that Boyce Hydro had refused for 13 years to build a spillway that could divert floodwaters away from the dam, which it said was in danger of failing in a heavy storm. The agency said Boyce Hydro had an “extensive record of noncompliance.”
In a statement Friday, Boyce said that it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on engineering and construction to meet federal standards and that FERC’s demands for additional improvements — which would have cost more than $8 million — were beyond the company’s financial means. The stripping of their license left them with no way to cover any more improvements, the company said.
Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy assumed regulatory authority for Edenville in 2018, and in an initial inspection found it to be in “fair” structural condition, though with concerns about its spillway capacity.”
Read The Washington Post’s coverage of the failure, and learn about recovery efforts below.