Hydroelectric Plants in Kansas, Nebraska & the Dakotas 

Bowersock
Location: KS
Operator: Bowersock Mills & Power Co
Configuration: 7 T/G sets, 2.35 MW
Operation: 1919-1925
T/G supplier: Leffel, GE
Quick facts: This is the only operating hydroelectric plant in Kansas. Development dates to Sep 1872 when local entrepreneur Orlando Darling signed an agreement with the City of Lawrence to build a dam across the Kaw River. The project was slowed by ice damage and financial issues and in 1879, J D Bowersock took over the project for his mill business. In 1888, four dynamos were installed to generate electricity, just 6yrs after Edison completed Pearl Street power station in New York City. Subsequently, more modern equipment was installed and the plant remains in service today.

Photograph courtesy of Bowersock Mills & Power Co
Posted 26 Jul 2009

Columbus
Location: NE
Operator: Loup Power District
Configuration: 3 X 13.3 MW Francis
Operation: 1935
T/G supplier: AC

Quick facts: Loup Power District operates a 35mi irrigation and hydroelectric canal system on the Loup River in Nebraska. Construction began in August 1934 and the first hydroelectric generation started in March 1937. A headworks dam at Genoa diverts water into the canal. After passing through the Monroe powerhouse, the water flows into two regulating reservoirs -- Lake Babcock and Lake North -- and on to the Columbus power plant.  Afterwards, the canal flows into the Platte River.

Photograph courtesy of Loup Power District
Posted 26 May 2002

Fort Randall Dam
Location: SD
Operator: US Army Corps of Engineers
Configuration: 8 X 40 MW Francis
Operation: 1953
T/G supplier: AC, Westinghouse
Quick facts: Construction started at Ft Randall in 1946 and was completed in 1953. The dam measures 10,700ft in length with a maximum height of 165ft.

Photograph by Harry Weddington and courtesy of USACE
Posted 29 Aug 2001

Garrison Dam
Location: ND
Operator: US Army Corps of Engineers
Configuration: 5 X 114 MW propeller
Operation: 1956-1960
T/G supplier: BLH, GE
Quick facts:
Garrison Dam is one of the largest rolled earth-fill dams in the world and was constructed as part of the Pick-Sloan Plan. Construction on the $294mn project began in 1947 and closure of the embankment occurred in April 1953. The T/G sets were modernized in a major project ending in 2004.

Photograph by Harry Weddington and courtesy of USACE
Posted 28 Dec 2004

Gavins Point
Location: SD
Operator: US Army Corps of Engineers
Configuration: 3 X 44 MW propeller
Operation: 1956
T/G supplier: BLH, GE
Quick facts:
Gavins Point Dam is part of of the 1944 Pick-Sloan Plan, six main stem dams and reservoirs on the Upper Missouri River basin. The dam was completed in 1957 at a cost of $51mn.

Photograph by Harry Weddington and courtesy of USACE
Posted 28 Dec 2004

Kingsley Dam
Location: NE
Operator: Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District
Configuration: 1 X 50 MW propeller
Operation: 1984
T/G supplier: AC
EPC: CH2M
Quick facts: Kingsley Dam was built as part of the New Deal Tri-County power and irrigation project. Construction on the $43mn scheme got underway in March 1936 and was mostly complete by the end of 1940. Over the following years, the power and water sector in the state was gradually reorganized. In 1974, CH2M Hill completed a study on the possibility of using the Kingsley Dam for hydro power generation. The project was authorized and construction began in the fall o 1981. The $49mn plant was dedicated on 17 Oct 1984, about 8mos ahead of schedule and $11mn under budget.

Photograph courtesy of Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District
Posted 23 Oct 2010

North Platte
Location: NE
Operator: Nebraska Public Power District
Configuration: 2 X 13 MW Francis
Operation: 1937
T/G supplier: AC, GE

Photograph courtesy of Nebraska Public Power District
Posted 12 Feb 2005

Spencer
Location: NE
Operator: Nebraska Public Power District
Configuration: 1 X 800 kW, 1 X 1.6 MW
Operation: 1926-1934
T/G supplier: WH
Quick facts: Spencer Dam is on the Niobrara River in Holt County.

Photograph by Ammodramus (wikimedia)
Posted 20 Feb 2011

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 02/20/11

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