The Wissota Hydro Generating Station serves as the control center for a majority of Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin hydroelectric facilities. It is the second largest in Xcel’s fleet in the state and retains the 6,200-acre Lake Wissota, a popular public recreational area. However, the facility was constructed before 1920, and, because of its age and overall importance to its operations, Xcel commissioned Barr to complete an alternatives evaluation report for rehabilitating the concrete spillway and powerhouse along with the Stauwerke spillway gates (which operate when higher headwater conditions occur). The intent of the evaluation was to identify projects that would sustain Wissota operations, along with the estimated costs for each.
Barr developed finite element analysis (FEA) models using RISA-3D software for the spillway, powerhouse, and Stauwerke gates. Based on a preliminary group of options and the FEA model results, we developed six spillway and two powerhouse modification options, including concept-level drawings and cost estimates, for Xcel’s further consideration.