US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website

Hydropower, SAF Hydropower, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

Updated September 2015
Published Feb. 26, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued license number 12451 on February 21, 2006, granting the authority to SAF Hydropower, LLC, to construct and operate a hydropower facility on the Mississippi River at Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The hydropower project includes an 8.98-megawatt generating system composed of a 16-unit turbine matrix, a control building, a transmission line and ancillary facilities. The total capacity of the plant is enough to provide power to 6,200 households.

SAF Hydro, LLC, is co-owned by Brookfield Renewable Energy and Spaulding Consultants and is operated by Brookfield Renewable Energy. Construction began in April 2009 and was completed in October 2011. Commercial operation began in December 2011.

The FERC license required the licensee to acquire real estate interests in the embankment located on the north side of the dam. This embankment, together with the Corps lock, dam and other structures make up the damming surface at the lower falls.

SAF Hydro and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed an operating memorandum of agreement in November 2010 that included a hydropower regulating plan. The regulating plan may be updated as needed to accommodate the Corps navigation mission and the safety of boaters. Boat traffic at the lower lock is expected to decrease following the closure of Upper St .Anthony Falls lock to navigation.

Pertinent correspondence and filings are posted on the FERC eLibrary ( under docket number P-12451.

Licensing of hydropower facilities by the FERC is governed by Part I of the Federal Power Act, 16 USC 791(a) – 825(r). Coordination between the FERC and the Corps regarding FERC licensing of hydropower at Corps facilities is also governed by a March 30, 2011, memorandum of agreement between the agencies.

Coordination during construction and re-licensing are funded under the operation and maintenance program, and these costs are reimbursed by the licensee to the U.S. Treasury through annual charges by FERC.