Hydro power plants harness the energy of falling water to make electricity. A dam backs up the water, creating a deep reservoir and a higher fall of water. In other words, the reservoir is a form of stored energy. When the water is released, its force turns a turbine. The turbine turns a generator, where electricity is produced.

How Hydro Power Works

Hydroelectric Plants

Hydroelectric Plants - (wholly owned and operated by WPS)

  River Units Total MW* Date Built Operating Mode License Expiration
Otter Rapids
Vilas County
Wisconsin 2 0.5 1-1927
2-1924
Run-of-River 2030
Hat Rapids
Oneida County
Wisconsin 3 1.7 1-1923
2-1905
3-1984
Run-of-River N/A
Jersey
Lincoln County
Wisconsin 3 0.5 1-1923
2-1920
3-1922
Run-of-River 2026
Tomahawk
Lincoln County
(Relicensing)
Wisconsin 2 2.6 1938 Limited Peaking 2018**
Grandfather Falls
Lincoln County
(Relicensing)
Wisconsin 2 17.2 1938 Limited Peaking 2018**
Alexander
Lincoln County
Wisconsin 3 4.2 1925 Limited Peaking 2035
Merrill
Lincoln County
Wisconsin 3 2.3 1-1917
2-1917
3-1984
Run-of-River N/A
Wausau
Marathon County
Wisconsin 3 5.4 1-1921
2-1921
3-1924
Run-of-River 2026
Caldron Falls
Marinette County
Peshtigo 2 7.0 1924 Limited Peaking 2037
High Falls
Marinette County
Peshtigo 5 7.0 1910 Regulation 2037
Johnson Falls
Marinette County
Peshtigo 2 3.5 1923 Run-of-River 2037
Sandstone Rapids
Marinette County
Peshtigo 2 3.8 1925 Run-of-River 2037
Potato Rapids
Marinette County
Peshtigo 3 1.4 1-1926
2-1921
3-1921
Run-of-River 2037
Peshtigo
Marinette County
Peshtigo 2 0.6 1-1920
2-1924
Run-of-River 2037
Grand Rapids (MI)
Menominee County
Menominee 5 6.7 1-1910
2-1910
3-1912
4-1918
5-1923
Run-of-River 2037

** Relicensing effort

Hydroelectric Plants - (50% ownership by WPS)

  River Total MW*
Petenwell
Juneau County
Wisconsin 20
Castle Rock
Adams County
Wisconsin 15

* Total MW Represented by Nameplate Rating