Ludington Decommissioning Study and Dam Breach Analysis

Project Name: Ludington Pump Storage Project

Summary: Breach analysis at multiple points around upper reservoir

Client: Consumers Energy Company

Project Location: Ludington, MI

Project Size: 1,872 MW

Services Provided:
•  Hydraulic and Hydrologic Analysis
•  GIS Database Design and
•  Dam Breach Study
•  Inundation Mapping

Project Timeframe:
2009 - 2010

Relationship with Client: Since 1994

Client Needs:
Consumers Energy Company (Consumers Energy) was required to assess the impacts from a breach of their Ludington Pump Storage facility as part of their dam safety program. The facility pumps from Lake Michigan into an upper (storage) reservoir for use in hydroelectric generation.
Kleinschmidt Solution:
Kleinschmidt developed a hydraulic model for several failure analyses of the upper reservoir. As there is no defined channel below the upper reservoir and because the upper reservoir is constructed of an earthen fill embankment, Kleinschmidt evaluated inundation resulting from breaches at six points around the upper reservoir using a two-dimensional hydraulic model (FLO-2D). Initial terrain data for the areas surrounding the impoundment were assembled in a GIS including aerial imagery, USGS topographic quadrangles, land cover data, USGS Digital Elevation Model data, and available hydrography. This allowed for the development of the geometry file for input to the FLO-2D model. The terrain data provided the ground elevation and Manning’s coefficient for each grid node in the model. Project boundary areas as well as outflow areas (to Lake Michigan) were identified within the grid. A graphical animation of each breach was created to show the flooded areas over time. Results of model were also used to develop the inundation mapping for each of the breach scenarios for inclusion in the project’s Emergency Action Plan.
Client Benefits:
Kleinschmidt provided Consumers Energy with a more accurate determination of the effects of a potential failure of the upper reservoir by using a two-dimensional hydraulic model at this site. In addition, the inundation maps, breach extents GIS data, and animations were shared with local emergency response agencies to provide them with needed information to plan a coordinated response effort in the event of an emergency at the site.