Several hydro stations built along the Catawba River in the early 1900s provided the “spark” that drove economic growth in this region of the United States.
The Carolinas are home to the U.S.’s first comprehensive development of an entire river, the Catawba, which ultimately would provide power from 13 hydro stations on 11 reservoirs.
Hydro plants in the Carolinas that are members of Hydro Review’s Hydro Hall of Fame are:
• 10.6 MW Columbia Canal, built in 1896
• 18-MW Ninety-Nine Islands, built in 1910
• 3.3 MW Pelzer Mills Lower Hydro Project, built in 1895
Hydroelectric facilities provide more than half of the electricity generation from renewable resources in North Carolina.
There are at least 70 hydroelectric facilities in North Carolina with a total capacity of at least 2,000 MW.
The city of Charlotte, North Carolina – the location for HydroVision International 2018 – is the headquarters of Duke Energy.
• 49,300 MW of generating capacity
• Supplies electricity to about 7.4 million U.S. customers
Lake Norman, part of the 350-MW Cowan Ford hydro project, is the largest body of fresh water in North Carolina (32,500 acres).
The U.S. National Whitewater Center, near Charlotte, features the largest man-made whitewater river, featuring class II to IV rapids throughout multiple channels.
One of the Smoky Mountain’s finest whitewater rivers is the Pigeon, which flows westward from North Carolina into Tennessee.
The Carolinas region is also a leader in application of new hydro technology.
A prime example: the 28-MW Bridgewater project – built in 2011 – is one of the first new hydro plants in the world designed for aeration of the water. Installation of custom-designed aerating turbines maximize the dissolved oxygen (DO) uptake across the full range of flows at the plant while minimizing the effect on turbine efficiency.
Hydro Producers, Associations & Service and Product Suppliers with a Presence in the Carolinas include:
BHI Energy/Power Services
EPRI-Electric Power Research Institute
Glenn Underwater Services
Haw River Hydro
Integrated Power Services
Madison Hydro Partners
Mill Shoals Hydro
Northbrook Carolina Hydro
North Fork Electric
Phillips & Jordan
Piedmont Hydro Technologies
Pioneer Motor Bearing Company
South Carolina Electric & Gas
Superior Industrial Maintenance
Tennessee Valley Authority
Young Energy Services
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