Sit back and relax: York Haven Power Station

Digital Originals

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A view of the York Haven Hydroelectric Plant, as seen from the Falmouth boat launch area in Lancaster County.

The York Haven plant was built at the beginning of the 20th century, making it one of the oldest hydroelectric plants in the country. When finished in 1904, the dam channeling water to the generators was the third-largest in the world.

When you think of a dam, you probably visualize a structure that crosses a river at a right angle to the water flow. The 5,000 foot long York Haven Dam is different. Starting from the powerhouse in the video, the dam runs upstream almost parallel to the western bank of the river, then curves to the east, crossing the river at an angle till it reaches the west side of Three Mile Island. (Another small dam with a fish passage on the east side of the island completes the impoundment.) The reason for this curve? The dam follows an already existing rock ledge.

Get daily news, weather, and breaking news alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for abc27 newsletters here!

According to Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, owner and operator of the dam, “The facility is equipped with 13 horizontal Francis turbines, 4 vertical Kaplan turbines, and 3 vertical propeller units. York Haven produces a long term average generation of 135,485 MWh of clean electricity annually, which is enough to power 13,027 homes.

York Haven is the northernmost of the four big hydroelectric dams on the lower Susquehanna. The other three (North to South) are the Safe Harbor Dam, the Holtwood Dam (both located in Pennsylvania), and the Conowingo Dam, located in Maryland.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss