Notre Dame given thumbs up to build hydroelectric station on St. Joseph River

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The University of Notre Dame has reached a deal with South Bend allowing the school to build and operate a hydroelectric power station on the St. Joseph River.

A 50-year lease approved Monday by South Bend’s parks board authorizes Notre Dame to build the station on and beneath a dam in downtown South Bend.

The South Bend Tribune reports construction is expected to begin next fall, with the project coming online in early 2019.

Notre Dame will run transmission lines from the dam to its campus to generate about 7 percent of its electricity needs.

South Bend obtained an exemption in 1984 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate a hydroelectric power station on the river. The lease agreement transfers that exemption from the city to Notre Dame.

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