Hydropower in Minneapolis

On Sept. 5, 1882, Minnesota Brush Electric Company produced power in downtown Minneapolis. The St. Anthony (or Hennepin Island) hydro plant on the Mississippi River was BUILT FOR ELECTRIC POWER IN 1882 and is STILL OPERATING TODAY, owned by Xcel Energy.

St. Anthony Hydro Plant
St. Anthony (or Hennepin Island) hydro plant

Minnesota is known as the “LAND OF 10,000 LAKES” (but there are actually more like 12,000). Minneapolis means “City of Lakes.”

Minneapolis owes much of its growth to the MISSISSIPPI RIVER, which helped power the city’s mills.

WINNIPEG is Minneapolis’s sister city and Minnesota borders the Canadian provinces of MANITOBA and ONTARIO.

Many Companies with Ties to Hydroelectric Power have Offices in Minneapolis. These include:

  • Xcel Energy, based in Minneapolis, owns 26 HYDROPOWER PLANTS with a summer net dependable capacity of 377 MW. Total summer net dependable capacity of all its generating plants in 17, 020 MW.
  • The University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory is an INTERDISCIPLINARY FLUID MECHANICS RESEARCH and EDUCATIONAL FACILITY of the College of Science and Engineering.
  • Minneapolis-based Barr Engineering provides engineering and environmental consulting services to CLIENTS AROUND THE WORLD.
  • Consulting company HDR is based in Omaha but has OFFICES IN BOTH MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL.
  • Mead & Hunt: has an office in Bloomington, MN
  • Ames Construction: based in Burnsville, MN
  • DeZurik Apco Hilton: based in Sartell, MN
  • Kato Engineering/Nidec Corporation: based in Mankato, MN
  • PaR Systems: based in Shoreview, MN
Hydropower sites in Minnesota
Each red dot represents an operating hydropower site in Minnesota

Operating Hydropower Sites in Minnesota

OwnerDam NameCountyRiverCapacity
Minnesota PowerBlanchardMorrisonMississippi18.0
Minnesota PowerFond Du LacCarltonSt. Louis12.0
Minnesota PowerKnife FallsCartolSt. Louis2.4
Minnesota PowerLittle FallsMorrisonMississippi4.7
Minnesota PowerPillagerMorrisonCrow Wing1.5
Minnesota PowerPraire RiverItascaPrairie River1.1
Minnesota PowerScanionCarltonSt. Louis1.6
Minnesota PowerSylvanCassCrow Wing1.8
Minnesota PowerThomsonCarltonSt. Louis69.6
Minnesota PowerWintonLakeKawishiwi4.0
Minnesota PowerRapids Energy CenterItascaMississippi2.1
NSP/Xcel EnergySt. AnthonyHennepinMississippi14.2
Ottertail Power*BemidjiBeltramiMississippi0.7
Ottertail PowerCentralOtter TailOtter Tail0.4
Ottertail PowerDayton HollowOtter TailOtter Tail1.0
Ottertail PowerFribergOtter TailOtter Tail0.6
Ottertail PowerHoot LakeOtter TailOtter Tail1.0
Ottertail PowerPisgahOtter TailOtter Tail0.6
Intl. Falls PowerIntl. FallsKoochichingRainy14.4
Sappi CloquetCloquetCarltonSt. Louis6.5
Twin Cities HydroFord DamHennepinMississippi17.9
SAF HydroelectricLower St. Anthony FallsHennepinMississippi9.0
Eagle Creek Renewable
Granite Falls Granite Falls Yellow Med.Minnesota1.2
HastingsLock & Dam #2DakotaMississippi4.4
Redwood Falls*Redwood FallsRedwoodRedwood0.6
City of BrainerdBrainerdCrow WingMississippi3.3
St. CloudSt. CloudStearnsMississippi8.9
Thief River FallsMunicipal Power DamPenningtonRed Lake0.6
Rapidan RedevelopmentRapidanBlue EarthBlue Earth5.0
Dakota Co. Electric CoopLake ByllesbyDakotaCannon 1.8

*These facilities do not fall under the authority of FERC.