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I&M to Lower Reservoir Level at Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant to Winter Operating Level

December 13, 2021

Elkhart, Ind., – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is preparing for the upcoming winter season at its Elkhart Hydroelectric Generating Station located on Johnson St. near downtown Elkhart on the St. Joseph River. I&M will lower the reservoir level at the facility to prevent ice buildup. 

View of the St. Joseph River from the Elkhart Hydroelectric Generating Facility

Starting Monday, Dec. 20, I&M will lower the reservoir level at the facility from 741.5 feet above sea level to 717.5 feet above sea level. The water levels will decrease about six-inches per day over a four-day period.

“Indiana Michigan Power encourages those who live along the St. Joseph River, especially residents within eight miles upstream of the Elkhart facility, to take note of the changing water level starting next Monday,” said Richard Walag, I&M hydroelectric maintenance Supervisor. “While the reservoir is at its lower elevation, residents may wish to remove boats or perform work and cleanup activities along the riverbank.”

The reservoir level will return to its spring and summer operating level of 741.5 feet above sea level in early spring. The drawdown at the Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant is conducted in accordance with the operating license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Elkhart hydroelectric facility has been in operation since 1913 and has a capacity of 3.44 megawatts --  the equivalent of powering 3,500 homes annually.

The facility is one of six run-of-river hydroelectric plants on the St. Joseph River I&M owns and operates. “Run-of-river” means all water goes through the generation equipment inside the hydroelectric facility and then the water is passed out of the facility and return to the river.

Combined, I&M’s six hydroelectric facilities generate more than 22 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 15,000 homes a year.

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ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 85% of its energy delivered in 2020 was emission-free.  I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states, nearly 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states, and 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

ABOUT AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER: American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,500 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

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