Energy Company to Install Fish Protection Systems

June 6, 2015
The installation is expected to be operational in 2016

Xcel Energy will install modified Ristroph fish protection intake systems from Evoqua Water Technologies at Xcel Energy’s Black Dog generating facility located in Burnsville, Minn. The new equipment is expected to significantly increase biodiversity in the region through the protection of fish species and seasonal larvae.

Upon the completion of the installation, which is expected to be operational in 2016, Xcel Energy is believed to be among a handful of facilities in the country meeting impinged fish protection requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations implementing Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, which establishes requirements for cooling water intake structures to minimize adverse environmental impacts utilizing Best Technology Available (BTA). The requirement impacts 1,065 existing facilities across the U.S., including 544 power plants.

Xcel Energy’s Black Dog generating facility will install eight Evoqua fish-friendly screening systems utilizing non-metallic modified Ristroph baskets. The system prevents small fish from entering the plant’s water intake and cooling system and returns them to the river, allowing them to continue movement downstream. The installation is expected to begin in the fall of 2015 and to be completed in 2016. If needed, these baskets are capable of seasonally interchangeable fine mesh panels to protect larvae.

“Xcel Energy’s leadership in fish protection and in the installation at their Black Dog power generation facility takes that commitment to the next level,” said Dr. Mirka Wilderer, general manager of Evoqua’s Separation Technologies business. “Xcel Energy has been using our fish protection system at its Allen King, Minn., unit since 2007, but will now take that protection proactively to yet another site including the ability to swap in finer mesh screens if needed for seasonal larvae protection as well."

In addition to its fish protection efforts at Allen King, Xcel Energy has been using an earlier version of Evoqua’s fish and larvae protection system at its Prairie Island, Minn., facility since 1982. With the Black Dog upgrade, Xcel Energy will install the latest technology that uses non-metallic baskets which are up to 50% lighter than traditional steel baskets, thereby reducing hanging weight, motor torque and requiring less maintenance and operating costs.

Source: Xcel Energy

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Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).