Angelo Dam Project
Repowering the Angelo Dam
Western's Hydro Power Station fits the model being developed by the College that focuses on merged opportunity: sustainable and green projects that serve as learning opportunities for students while simultaneously acting to reduce the College's own carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
The former Angelo Dam is located on the La Crosse River adjacent to Western's Sparta Public Safety Training Facility. It was built in 1854 to power a saw mill and then a flour mill. The original mechanical system was replaced in 1898 with hydro turbines and electric generators to power the street lights in Sparta. The facility was sold in the 1920s to Northern States Power Co. and new turbines installed that produced electricity until 1969, when Northern States abandoned the site and gave the property to Monroe County. Western acquired the property in 2010 and retrofitted the dam with hydro technology equipment.
Now, the dam is providing power, which is being sold back to NSP. Electronics students start using the facility as a learning laboratory in fall 2014.
A community open house will be held in spring 2015.