Duke Power Company
On April 30, 1904, the Catawba Power Company completed the Catawba Hydro Station on (you guessed it!) the Catawba River near Rock Hill, SC. This date is considered the birth of Duke Power Company. Now existing as a subsidiary of Duke Energy, Duke Power continues to supply power to over 2 million customers in the Piedmont Carolinas. Operating a mix of Fossil, Nuclear, and Hydro plants, Duke supplies about 19,900 Megawatts via 13,000 miles of transmission lines and 94,000 miles of distribution lines. One of the things we really like about Duke is the fact that they generate 48% of their power at their three nuclear plants. In November 2005, we visited the World of Energy exhibit at the Oconee Nuclear Power Station during a visit to the South Carolina high country in general, and the Keowee-Toxaway Project in particular. Unlike other utilities that seem to try to hide their nuclear plants under a rock, Duke celebrates theirs by continuing to operate Visitor's Centers and Exhibits at all three of their plants: Oconee, McGuire, and Catawba. Check out their web site for more information.
Where Georgia Power operates the North Georgia Hydro Group on the Georgia side of the Upper Savannah River Basin, Duke operates the Keowee-Toxaway Project on the South Carolina side. The similarities end there: The NG Hydro group is a series of small hydro projects dating from the early 1900s, the Koewee-Toxaway Project dates from the 1970s and includes a nuke plant and pumped storage. While this project includes the Oconee Nuclear Plant, of primary interest (since this is a "dam" page!) are the Keowee, Jocasee, and Bad Creek plants. We visited all of these, sort of, during our first South Carolina Dam Quest. Pictures are few, because the weather did not cooperate, with rain and clouds on the deck making photography almost impossible. So, while we are planning the Keowee-Toxaway Quest Version 2, we will introduce Duke Power with some information and a few borrowed pictures.
The Keowee-Toxaway Hydro Plants
And since we're here already...
The Oconee Nuclear Plant
Another of Duke's hydro groups is
Nantahala Power and Light