Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Elkhart Hydro Dam

Street View
I'm glad some of the gates were open, or I would not see the upward thrust caused by the tumble bay weir. This weir is normally submerged under the downstream pool.
The dam was built in 1911-1913, and the tumble bay weir was added in 1928. [ADEfDCaR]

In the 1980s additional modifications were made to prevent the dam from sliding down river because it is built on sand, silts, and clays instead of bedrock.

Note the crane in the above street view. They replaced all of the gates in 2017 even though there have been no problems because they were over 100 years old and approaching the end of their useful life. This hydro plant generates up to 3.4 MW.  [I&M]
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 589,000 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana. AEP, which owns I&M, has a generating capacity of 26,000 MW. [I&M]
Another datum that we would have been better off building better nuclear power plant designs rather than space stations. (Who remembers Skylab?) Of course, back then fusion power was supposed to be a reality by the year 2000. But I am glad to see that wind power is not a joke, compared to hydro and solar, for renewable energy options.

The 3.4 MW of this dam is 0.0013% of AEP's generating capacity. I wonder what the cost of gate replacement was compared to the cost of removing the dam. Although a problem with removing dams is that an economy of marinas, canoe rentals, and fishing piers develops along the banks of rivers that have a stable water level.

1 comment:

  1. That is an interesting post. This dam has been a fixture of Elkhart since its inception. I grew up in Elkhart and fondly remember the dam and the marina which used to sit right next to the dam. I hope it continues to operate and remain a notable fixture for many years to come.