Project Name: Brandon Road Hydroelectric Project
Summary: Hydraulic modeling and sediment transport analysis
Client: Northern Illinois Hydro
Project Location: Joliet, IL
Project Size: 10.2 MW
• Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis
• Sediment/Channel Stability
• Habitat Analysis
Project Timeframe: 2009
Relationship with Client: Since 2007
Northern Illinois Hydro’s (NIH’s) development plans for the installation of a new hydropower station on the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Brandon Road Lock & Dam included the reallocation of flow from the existing gated spillways regulating the headpond to a new power station located at an adjacent retired intake structure. As this adjustment in outflow location would result in new flow patterns below the dam, NIH needed to assess the impact of these changes to the downstream reach which could potentially affect channel stability, water quality, existing habitat values, and public safety.
Kleinschmidt developed a 2-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Detailed overbank and channel bathymetry was collected in addition to field surveys of substrate material. Kleinschmidt then modeled existing and proposed conditions, as well as movement of a theoretical sediment plume developed during construction. Changes to shear stress with respect to critical shear over the range of normal project flows was used to evaluate channel stability. As well, Kleinschmidt performed analyses in support of habitat modeling using the 2D model results with habitat suitability criteria to create spatially distributed suitability scores and changes.
By modeling different design configurations, NIH generated key data in support of the regulatory processes related to FERC licensing, including state 401 water quality certification, and to address USACE concerns about sediment transport, dam stability, and navigation.