What’s old will be new again in a few months in downtown Chippewa Falls. Xcel Energy is currently in the process of refurbishing the NSP sign that has been on top of the hydro plant since 1968.
When the roof of the hydro plant was being replaced in 2013, Hydro Maintenance personnel inspected the sign structure, and while it had not been lit for several years it was still in good condition.
“Because of the historic value of the sign, we felt it was worth saving and relighting,” said Ben Mosack, supervisor, hydro maintenance. “We presented the idea to the city of Chippewa Falls and determined it would fit in great with the plans to revitalize the river front area.”
The sign is being repaired and will be outfitted with energy saving LED lights and is expected to be operational in November. Something City Planner Jayson Smith also said will provide value to the city’s project.
“Downtown Chippewa Falls represents some of the historic fabric of the community and the re-lighting of the NSP sign will add just another feature to our downtown and community. As the city revitalizes its downtown entrance with the new Chippewa Riverfront, the renovated NSP sign compliments those efforts.”
“I am extremely excited that Xcel Energy is repairing the old NSP sign,” said Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman. “The sign is a key part of the history of Chippewa Falls and this will be a great addition to the Chippewa Riverfront project.”
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The Chippewa Falls hydro plant was originally built in 1928 at the site of an old lumber mill. It was identified at that time with a sign on top that was lit with the full hydro and company name: Chippewa Falls hydro plant — Northern States Power Company. It was then downsized to just NSP in 1968 where it remained lit for several decades.
In addition to re-lighting the sign, plans are being developed to transfer ownership of the original black turbine at the plant to the city and Xcel Energy will install kiosks along the walking trail with historical information about the hydro plant.
“I am extremely excited that Xcel Energy is repairing the old NSP sign.” — Greg Hoffman, Chippewa Falls mayor
“I am extremely excited that Xcel Energy is repairing the old NSP sign.”
— Greg Hoffman, Chippewa Falls mayor