Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Silver Lake to be drawn down for dam maintenance beginning December 9

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will be drawing down Silver Lake on December 9th. The drawdown is necessary to replace a hydraulic cylinder on the Silver Lake Dam. 

This drawdown has been coordinated with the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department and Minnesota DNR.

RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

The drawdown plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

RPU cautions the public from walking out into the exposed lake bed or ice. There could be unforeseen dangers associated with the freeze/thaw and possible muddy conditions.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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Posted: Nov 30, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Proposed 2023 Rate Tariff Changes

Click to view public notice published on October 8, 2022 in the paper of record.

Posted: Oct 10, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

2022 Lake Zumbro Dam Fall Drawdown

The fall drawdown of Lake Zumbro is scheduled to begin on October 23rd. The drawdown is necessary for planned maintenance at the hydroelectric facility and shoreline restoration work.  The public should be aware that the drawdown planned for this fall will be substantially greater than normal.  A typical fall drawdown is less than two feet; whereas this year a four foot drawdown will be attempted.  These plans are subject to change depending on rainfall and resulting runoff.  RPU’s drawdown plan is as follows:

The drawdown plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

During the months of December through March, Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will attempt to maintain the lake level at the winter pool of 913.0 MSL.

Real-time lake level information, along with Lake Zumbro hydro updates are available on the RPU web site (www.rpu.org). For additional information regarding the Zumbro Hydroelectric Facility please contact Tony Benson at (507) 280-1534.

Tips for lake ice safety:

Be extremely careful during winter activities that involve Lake Zumbro such as ice fishing, snowmobiling or just walking out on the frozen lake.

Watch the weather and river flow conditions.

Ice thickness and condition can vary greatly. Be very cautious.

Look out for ice heaves and exposed logs and snags.

Be cautious in the vicinity of the dam. De-icing equipment has been installed along the upstream face of the dam resulting in open water and/or thin ice.

Do not proceed past the warning signs and buoys.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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Posted: Oct 07, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

2023 Recommended Budget Presentation

Click here for the 2023 Recommended Budget Presentation from the August 10th Special RPU Board Meeting.

Posted: Aug 11, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Plans for $2 billion investment in MN’s electric grid

MEDIA ADVISORY:  August 2 event
Plans for $2 billion investment in MN’s electric grid

Transmission lines are the highways for our electric grid to deliver power to Minnesota homes and businesses. Minnesota is now moving forward to invest more than $2 billion in new transmission lines to expand our electric grid. This investment is part of $10 billion in new transmission lines planned for the Midwest under a coordinated effort by MISO (Mid-Continent Independent System Operator), which manages the regional electric grid for 15 Midwest and southern states, and Manitoba.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, which represents Minnesota consumers on energy issues, along with leaders from energy organizations developing the new transmission infrastructure, will explain more about this major infrastructure investment, which sets the path for the future of Minnesota’s energy.

Please join us at the Chester Substation, which will be part of the expansion.

TIME:   10 am, Tuesday, August 2

LOCATION:  Rochester Public Utilities – Chester substation 506  50th Ave SE, Rochester (link to map), RPU’s substation is along the transmission line proposed for southern MN (Wilmarth–North Rochester–Tremval line)

SPEAKERS:     

Additional information: 

Rochester Public Utilities staff will provide media with an overview of how the substation is connected to a transmission line and distributes electrical power.

MISO transmission plan report:  See slide 7 for transmission lines planned in Minnesota

Infographic:  Understanding the Grid (U.S. DOE)

Media contacts: Mo Schriner, Minnesota Department of Commerce  mo.schriner@state.mn.us
Tony Benson, Rochester Public Utilities tbenson@rpu.org

Posted: Aug 01, 2022 by Tony B | Comments (0)