Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Get or Give Half Dome permits<HERE>
Ever see this building while at Yosemite??
Here’s a hint – it’s about a mile below the Pohono Bridge (near the junction of 120 and 140/41) on the Merced River. That’s a short distance below the western end of Yosemite Valley Give up?
It’s the Yosemite Hydroelectric Power Plant. The plant was completed in June, 1919, at a cost of $212,000.00 and delivers electric power thru seven miles of high power transmission lines and nine miles of distributing lines. It has a 2000 kilowatt capacity.
The energy developed here is used for power, lighting, heating, and electrical purposes in the hotels and camps, and in the residences of park employees and other government buildings. There is a diversion dam about 160 feet long that send water through a pipe 6,000 ft long.
Water falls 330 feet to drive 2 Pelton Water Wheel turbines.
It was dedicated to Henry Floy, an engineer whose congressional testimony was instrumental in getting the funding for the project. The Plant is a rare and good example of its type. There are no other known penstock-fed systems in California with their original Pelton wheels (a particular type of turbine), generators, switch boards, and design intact.
Here’s an interesting linkage. During the planning for the opening ceremonies, it was suggested that an air flight into the Valley take place. The construction of the power plant was a big deal and organizers felt it befitting to have a plane be a part of it. Remember it was just a decade before that the Wright Brothers got airborne. The proposal was declined partly because of the uncertainties of landing due to the unusual winds that exist between the canyon walls.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Say you want a revolution; we better get on right away. Well you get on your feet and out on the street. Singing power to the people, Power to the people, Power to the people, Power to the people, right on.” – John Lennon
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com