Northern States Power Company – Wisconsin (NSPW) d/b/a Xcel Energy currently holds a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate and maintain the Trego Hydroelectric Project (Trego Project). The current license, which designated the Project as FERC No. 2711, expires on November 30, 2025. To receive a new license from the FERC, NSPW is required to begin the relicensing process by submittal of a Notice of Intent to relicense (NOI) and a pre-application document (PAD) to the FERC no later than November 30, 2020.
Project Description and Overview
The Trego Project is located on the Namekagon River in the Town of Trego in Washburn County, Wisconsin.
The FERC issued a new license on June 2, 1994, effective June 1, 1994. The Trego Project has an installed capacity of
The Trego Project is operated in a run-of-river mode. Reservoir elevations are required to be maintained between 1,034.6 feet and 1,035.2 feet NGVD with a target elevation of 1,034.9 feet NGVD.
The Trego Reservoir encompasses approximately 462.5 acres and has a storage capacity of 4,625 acre-feet at reservoir elevation 1,035.0 feet NGVD. The reservoir has a maximum depth of 35 feet, and an average depth of 10 feet.
There are several recreational facilities in the vicinity of the Trego Project. The major recreation facilities are listed below:
- National Park Service River Access
- Wild River State Trail
- Town of Trego Park Landing
- Town of Trego Landing
- National Park Service Trego Lake Trail
- South Tailwater Access
- North Tailwater Access (Canoe Portage)
- National Park Service Highway K Landing
NSPW filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to file an application with FERC to obtain a new license for the Project. The NOI was accompanied by a Pre-Application Document (PAD). Pursuant to 18 CFR, Section 5.5, the filing of the NOI marks the beginning of the licensing process and sets the schedule for further licensing activities. In addition to filing the PAD and NOI, a request was filed asking FERC to allow NSPW to utilize the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP) The request to use the TLP was filed as a related submittal under 18 CFR, Section 5.3. NSPW’s rationale and justification for utilizing the TLP is included in the submittal.
The initial activities on the TLP plan and schedule include filing the PAD and NOI, as well as the request to use the TLP. Comments regarding the proposed use of the TLP must be filed with FERC no later than December 28, 2020. Once FERC approves utilizing the TLP for relicensing, stage one of the formal three-stage consultation process begins. In accordance with this schedule, within 30 days of receiving TLP approval from FERC, NSPW will issue the Notice for a Joint Meeting with resource agencies and Indian tribes. The Joint Meeting will be held no later than March 27, 2021. Comments on the PAD and study requests are due within 60 days of the Joint Meeting.
Stage two consultation begins after written comments have been received on the PAD. It is anticipated this consultation stage will include negotiation of studies that may be needed to identify potential resource impacts.
It is anticipated preparation of the Draft License Application (DLA) will be filed by June 3, 2023. Stakeholder review of the DLA occurs within 90 days of filing. The Final License Application (FLA) will be filed with FERC by November 30, 2023. Once the FLA is filed, stage three consultation would begin.
It is anticipated the following will occur between November 23, 2023 and November 30, 2025:
- FERC review of the FLA
- Issuance of FERC acceptance letter
- Submittal of stakeholder comments, terms, and conditions
- Scoping under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
- Preparation of Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Resolution of issues, if any, under Federal Power Act Section 10(j)
- Preparation of final EA or EIS
Based on this anticipated schedule, FERC would issue a License Order by November 30, 2025.
For more information contact Matt Miller at 715-737-1353, or written communication related to the Trego Hydroelectric Project relicensing can be mailed to:
Matthew J. Miller
Hydro License Compliance Consultant
Xcel Energy Corporation
1414 W Hamilton Avenue, PO Box 8
Eau Claire, WI 54702-0008