Byllesby Dam used to provide enough power to cover much of southern Minnesota. In the early 1900s, it kept the lights on from the metro to Rochester.
It’s still a major asset to Dakota County, but the lynchpin of its power generation—the turbines—haven’t changed in more than a hundred years. They were constructed in 1911. And we all know technology’s changed a lot since then. Engineers tell us turbines used to be manufactured with a “one-size-fits all” approach. Today, they’re modeled to a site’s specifications, which lead to more efficient energy generation. And they’re just flat-out more reliable.
About a dozen state lawmakers have joined the effort to help us bring Byllesby Dam into the realm of 21st century technology. Bills seeking a $6 million grant have recently been introduced in both the Minnesota house and senate (HF 47 and SF 48). Replacing the aging turbines with new technology would increase our generating capacity from about 12,000 megawatt hours to nearly 20,000. Learn more about our plans for Byllesby Dam.