Oconto Falls Lower, Oconto River, Wisconsin

HRC or member-contributed


Hydropower Reform Coalition


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License SummariesMidwestPublished   6/1/2009


Power generated from this project is used to produce pulp and paper products by the Scott Paper Company. However, a small amount is sold back to the local electric utility when paper production is shut down for five major holidays in a year.

  1.  License Issued: May 11, 1994
  2. Expiration: May 10, 2024
  3. Waterway: Oconto River
  4. Capacity: 1.81 MW (megawatts)
  5. Annual Generation- 8,400 MWh (megawatt hours)
  6. Licensee: Scott Paper Company
  7. Counties: Oconto
  8. Federal lands: None in the project area
  9. Brief Project Descriptions:
  • A masonry and concrete non-overflow dam integral with a penstock intake structure
  • A 9.2-acre reservoir
  • Powerhouse no. 1 with one 310-kW generating unit
  • Powerhouse no. 2 with one 1,500-kW generating unit
  • A 370-foot-long tailrace, and
  • Appurtenant facilities.



1. Operation

The project is operated in a run-of-river mode.

2. Water Quality

The 401 Certification was waived by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (W DNR) in May 1990. However, the license requires the Scott Paper Company to conduct water quality study every five years. By 1998, the Scott Paper Company has to submit a plan to monitor DO, temperature and pH in the reservoir, tailrace.

3. Licensee’s Authorities

Article 407 gives the Scott Paper Company authority to grant permission  for certain types of use and occupancy of project lands and waters without prior Commission approval as long as the activities do not violate the terms of the license and are consistent with the purposes of protecting and enhancing the scenic, recreational, and other environmental values of the project. Such activities may include but are not limited to landscape plantings; non-commercial piers, landings, boat docks etc.; embankments, bulkheads, retaining walls etc; and food plots and other wildlife enhancements.

Prepared: June 2009

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