The Sturgis Hydroelectric Project has been in operation over one hundred years. Constructed in 1910-1911, it has provided power to the City of Sturgis since its inception. The power plant is located on the St. Joseph River, just north of Centreville, Michigan, with an 18 mile transmission line to the City. The original construction included two Allis-Chalmers Vertical Shaft units (1,100 kW capacity) – still in operation today. In the 1930’s, the St. Joseph County Fish and Game Commission constructed fish rearing ponds, to stock the St. Joseph River. No longer in operation, the ponds have developed into a mature wooded wetland. In 1982, a second powerhouse was added with two Allis-Chalmers horizontal tube units, providing an additional 1,500 kW rated capacity.
The plant continues to operate today, providing enough electricity to power 1,000 homes and is a source of required renewable energy credits for the City of Sturgis. In addition to power generation, the project provides recreational opportunities – including two parks, a boat launch, two fishing piers and a hiking trails within the wooded wetland. In 2011, the City celebrated 100 years of operation for the hydroelectric plant during the Sturgis Dam Days festival.
LFA has been providing consulting services to the City of Sturgis relating to the Hydroelectric Project and Dam for over two decades, including the expansion of the Plant, dam improvements projects and meeting the requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is anticipated that the Project will continue to be a valuable resource for the City of Sturgis for many years to come.