Relicensing Hydroelectric Plants

For more than a century, we’ve used the Otter Tail River as a renewable resource to provide our customers with reliable and affordable energy while keeping the environment and safety at the forefront of our operation. We want that to continue.

We began the five-year process to relicense our five hydroelectric plants along the Otter Tail River in 2016. The Fergus Falls community has grown and thrived alongside the plants: Dayton Hollow (1909), Hoot Lake (1914), Pisgah (1918), Wright/Central (1922), and Taplin Gorge/Friberg (1925). We've proposed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to relicense the plants as they are today because relicensing is more cost effective for our customers than other options—and because doing so would maintain reservoirs near where customers and community members have built their homes.

We began planned maintenance work at Pisgah Dam in July 2019. The work improves the structrual stability of the spillway wall and we anticipate completion sometime in October 2020. This maintenance work is not part of the FERC relicensing process.

About the relicensing process

The plants' license, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will expire on November 30, 2021. On November 27, 2019, we filed our Final License Application with FERC. On May 19, 2020, FERC accepted our company’s license application for filing and currently is conducting an independent environmental analysis.

Hydroelectric plants are valued for their longevity, reliability, and ability to provide renewable energy. The bodies of water that our hydroelectric plants allow continue to provide quality fish and wildlife habitat. Learn more about the hydroelectric plants:

  • Dayton Hollow
  • Hoot Lake
  • Pisgah
  • Taplin Gorge (Friberg)
  • Wright (Central)

Stay engaged

  1. To receive notifications when new documents are filed into the relicensing record, register an account with FERC and sign up for its eSubscription service. (Docket number P-10853)
  2. Provide written comments that FERC considers when reviewing the license application.
  3. Continue visiting otpco.com/hydro.

Previous meetings

Otter Tail Power Company held an Updated Study Report Meeting at the Bigwood Event Center on April 29, 2019.

Otter Tail Power Company held a Study Report Meeting at the Bigwood Event Center on April 26, 2018.

Otter Tail Power Company held a second voluntary open house at the Bigwood Event Center on June 5, 2017.

Otter Tail Power Company held a Proposed Study Plan Meeting at the Bigwood Event Center on December 13, 2016.

FERC held scoping meetings at the Bigwood Event Center on August 30-31, 2016.

Otter Tail Power Company held a voluntary open house at the Bigwood Event Center on April 18, 2016.

Helpful resources

FERC's Hydropower Licensing—Get Involved—A Guide for the Public

Project boundary maps

Public Reference File Directory

To request copies of materials found in the Public Reference File Directory, you may:

We'll respond to requests within 20 days. Electronic copies are free. Hard copies are available but require reimbursement for reproduction and postage costs. We will not charge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or tribes for reproduction or postage costs.