Northern States Power Company – Wisconsin, a Wisconsin Corporation (NSPW) currently holds a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate and maintain the Hayward Hydroelectric Project (Hayward Project). The current license, which designated the Project as FERC No. 2417, expires on November 30, 2025. To receive a new license from the FERC, NSPW began the relicensing process by submitting a Notice of Intent to relicense (NOI) and a pre-application document (PAD) to the FERC on November 30, 2020. 

Project Description and Overview
The Hayward Project is located on the Namekagon River in the City and Town of Hayward in Sawyer County, Wisconsin.

The FERC issued a new license on September 1, 1995. The Hayward Project has an installed capacity of 168 kW.

The Hayward Project is operated in a run-of-river mode. A minimum flow of 8 cfs, or inflow, whichever is less is released at all times into the bypass reach of the Namekagon River immediately below the Hayward Dam. Reservoir elevations are required to be maintained between 1,187.0 feet and 1,187.5 feet NGVD with a target elevation of 1,187.4 feet NGVD. 

The Hayward Reservoir (Lake Hayward) encompasses approximately 246.9-acres and has a storage capacity of 1,234.5 acre-feet at reservoir elevation 1,187.5 feet NGVD. The reservoir has a maximum depth of 17 feet, and an average depth of 5 feet.

Recreation Facilities
There are several recreational facilities in the vicinity of the Hayward Project. The major recreation facilities are listed below:

    • Scheer’s Lumber Jack Shows
    • Hayward City Beach
    • Hayward City Boat Landing
    • Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
    • Canoe Portage Take-out and Carry-in Access
    • Canoe Portage Trail
    • Canoe Portage Put-in

Process Description
NSPW filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to file an application with FERC to obtain a subsequent 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 was included in the submittal.

The initial activities on the TLP plan and schedule included filing the PAD and NOI, as well as the request to use the TLP. FERC approved the TLP on January 21, 2021 beginning stage one of the formal three-stage consultation process. In accordance with this schedule, NSPW held a virtual Joint Agency Meeting on March 11, 2021. Comments on the PAD and study requests were submitted by the National Park Service (NPS), Trego Lake District (TLD), and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Stage two consultation began after written comments were received on the PAD. This consultation included studies that were needed to identify potential resource impacts. The final study summary including the final study plans addressing stakeholder comments, was submitted to FERC on April 21, 2022. Studies were conducted in 2022. Final study results were included in the Draft License Application (DLA), which was filed on June 27, 2023. Stakeholder review of the DLA took place between June 27, 2023 and August 26, 2023 (90 days). Comments on the DLA were submitted by the FERC, the NPS, and the TLD.

The Final License Application (FLA) was filed with the FERC on November 30, 2023. Stage three consultation began with the filing of the FLA.

It is anticipated the following will occur between November 30, 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 Hayward 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
Phone 715-737-1353