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Sunday
Aug222010

Water Power Park

Never before has the general public been able to walk on this piece of land and experience the power of the mighty Mississippi River as it flows over St. Anthony Falls. You feel the power of the river, the spray from the falls as you stand on one of the three overlooks with the skyline of downtown Minneapolis in the back round.

Overlooking St. Anthony Falls located on the upper portion of Father Hennepin Island on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis Minnesota. Water Power Park is accessible from Main Street just across from St. Anthony Main. Park in the St. Anthony Falls Ramp and take the connecting tunnel to Main St. and you will find yourself just across the street from Water Power Park.

This Park created by Xcel Energy is a condition of its license renewal by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Hennepin Island Hydro Electric Plant also known as the St. Anthony Hydro Plant. Xcel Energy renewed its license which was authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March 2004. One condition of the license is the creation of this recreation area to provide the public with exterior viewing to the plant and interpret its part in the evolution of St. Anthony Falls. A walkway now crosses in front of the building, leading to a bridge across the spillway separating the plant from Hennepin Island. A portion of the island overlooking the falls has been made into Water Power Park, allowing the closest possible approaches to the falls.

The St. Anthony Hydro Plant sits on the site of early sawmills at St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The current structure was built for electric power in 1882. It is currently operated by Xcel Energy. The facility stands on the east bank of the Mississippi River near the Pillsbury "A" Mill at Saint Anthony Falls, the river's only waterfall, which powered the city's early sawmills, grist mills and other industry. Today, the hydroelectric plant is the only industrial draw on the falls' power. Five generating units produce 2.4 or 2.5 megawatts each for a total of 12 megawatts. The plant is one of 85 contributing properties of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 


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