TURBINES CREATING ELECTRICITY
The construction of the landmark hydroelectric plant facility was completed in 1902. At the time of completion, the plant was the second largest hydro facility next to Niagara Falls. The hydro plant is constructed of steel and red sandstone. The stone was excavated from the power canal. The plant is a quarter-mile long, 80-feet wide, and has 74 horizontal shaft turbines located on the generation floor level. Each turbine has four runners (blades) that drive the 60-cycle generators. The water, which flows down the power canal, drops through gates in the turbines to make them spin, like a child’s pinwheel in the wind. The turbine turns the rotor—the last moving part. The turning creates electricity.
The excavation of the hydro canal began in September 1898 and was completed in June 1902. It is lined with more than 10,000 white pine timbers native to the area to strengthen and stabilize the structure.
The canal is approximately 2 1/4 miles in length from the headgates (intake) to the hydro plant. It is approximately 24 feet deep and 200 feet wide at the water level. The canal’s entrance is located at the east end of Ashmun Bay and controlled by four steel headgates. Learn more about the powerhouse in this 10-minute documentary.