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Posted by Lord Gow333, Dirk Benedict's n on May 8, 2009, 6:41 pm

Lord Gow333, Dirk Benedict's newest fan! wrote:

I dont honestly know which is cheaper: hydro or nuclear (when figured over
the life of the plant) but i suspect hydro is cheapest. Either one is
what i would call good, reliable, affordable green energy.

I'd agree IF the dam was built properly. The Robert Moses plant in Niagara
Falls has been going strong since it was built and, with regular
maintainence on or replacement of the moving parts, looked ready for another
hundred years easy last time I saw it. OTOH, I've read about small dams in
New England and Appalacia that were thrown together and have collapsed or
are on the verge. Even a "cheap" dam has to get pricey if you have to
replace it every few years (ask Z about free penstocks).

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Posted by daestrom on May 9, 2009, 2:39 pm

A couple of years ago, on the Oswego river in NY they built a coffer dam and
did maintenance on one of the hydro plants along that river.  After
re-grouting and replacing some equipment one of the officials at the public
ceremony mentioned that the last time the base of the dam was seen was
during initial construction some 90 years before and most likely the next
time would be 75-90 years in the future.

Properly done, the life span is quite long.

But IIRC, before the Robert Moses plant, the original power plant at Niagara
failed catestrophically.


Posted by Lord Gow333, Dirk Benedict's n on May 11, 2009, 12:45 am


Some blame leaky penstocks, a definite human error, while others say
earthquake which at least suggests poor site selection. Regardless, rather
than a failed dam this was a case of a rock cliff falling on the power


The Robert Moses is a true dam with concrete extending from crest to
riverbed. There is also a second dam above the main one, the Lewiston
Pump-Generating Plant, connected by canal, which holds back the Niagara
Reservoir. It has pump/turbines and can fill the reservoir in times of lower
power use and then recover the power during peak times. The canal is fed by
two giant tunnels originating above the falls, so technically the Moses is a
dam that existed before its "river".

There is a geological museum in Niagara Falls that was named after
Schoellkopf, but it was recently renamed to Niagara Gorge Discovery Center,
apparently because no one could spell Schoellkopf. :-)
I haven't been to it since they renovated it, but they now have a room
surrounded by TVs where you can take a virtual "elevator ride" down through
the local rock strata. It's one of the three things there are to do on the
American side of the falls.

LG (barely kidding)
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Posted by hubops on May 9, 2009, 9:06 pm
  Correction  -   more like 800 mw  !
   John T.

Posted by user on May 10, 2009, 2:46 am
 hubops wrote:

AS of January OPG lists 1,575.7 MW of wind power contracts.

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