Tuesday, November 4, 2008

That Time the Falls Ran Dry

You know, I really marvel at what man can do. In an astounding feat of engineering, the Mississippi River Power Corporation has stopped the flow of the Mississippi River over the main falls in Almonte so that they can build a new, more powerful hydro-electric station at the base of the falls reusing the refurbished turbines. My friend Andrew is working for the company that is working on the turbines. Sometimes life just feels so interconnected.

This is the view of the falls from the bridge looking "up river" if there was a river to look up, that is! (The water is being diverted down the other set of falls near the Millfall Condos.)

This is the Power House where the old turbines used to whirl and hum. The movement of the river and a slight drop is what used to power the generators. But this power house is at the top of the falls and the power was only that of the river moving along.

This is the old tailrace where the water came out of the power house.This is the gorge where that leads to the lake. They've blasted it deeply now, adding probably another 20 feet to the depth. Now the water will race over the falls, building up more speed and force so that it creates more than 19 million Kilowatt hours (versus the 11 million it used to produce). Those stats come from the Mississippi River Power Corp's website.

This view is no more either. Since the day I took these photos, they've blasted a lot more out of the groud to make a chute leading to the new site of power generation.

More photos of the continuing progress are available here.

My link to the past

Anyone who's been to Almonte has likely gone past this formidable building, Rosamond's Wollen Mill. I have a link not to this building but to the man, Rosamond.

Before he settled in Almonte and built a thriving textile industry, he lived on the banks of another set of falls, in Carleton Place just up the river. And he had my house built in 1849.

And in the early Spring, when the ice is breaking up, I too can feel the power of the river as rushes over my falls on its way to generating power once again.

1 comment:

Anvilcloud said...

Thanks. I've been wondering what's been going on there.