Restoring hydropower capacity on Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Owned and operated by UPPCO, the McClure Dam near Marquette is one of five dams on the Dead River. With a peak capacity of 8 megawatts, it generates enough electricity to power 8,000 homes. In 2007, the penstock—a pipeline that carries water from the dam to the powerhouse—ruptured, halting power production.
UPPCO asked Barr to evaluate repair and replacement options, and it became apparent that the 100-year-old pipeline had to be replaced. We designed a new spiral-weld steel penstock pipe over 13,000 feet long with control valves, drains, pressure-relief systems, and a leak-detection system consisting of ultrasonic flow meters near the intake and the powerhouse.