The Power Of Our Great Falls
Does anyone ever wonder why Great Falls is called The Electric City?
Though I've lived here for almost two thirds of my whole life, I didn't really think about it myself. I even had an uncle as a dam worker my whole life and still didn't make the connection.
Obviously it's because of all the damns and the power stations attached that produce a great deal of power for the city. They also generate power for other states in the northwest.
The power stations attached to them generate the energy with hydro power. According to Wikipedia, hydro power generates large amounts of low carbon on demand producing no direct waste. This form of renewable energy is the most efficient form of renewable energy to date, even more so that nuclear power.
According to U.S. Energy and Information Administration, as of 2021, Montana is ranked tenth amongst states with the largest share of renewable energy, and 6th out of 10 states that produce hydroelectric power.
I also went Wikipedia do some research on the power stations we have in town along The Missouri river and it was quite interesting to see how much power that they generate.
We'll start with Black Eagle Dam. This sits in between Great Falls and Black Eagle right in the city a it produces 18 Megawatts of power.
Next, is Rainbow Dam. As well as being one of the main sights on the Rivers Edge trail, this produces a bit more than Black Eagle at 36 megawatts of power.
Third is Ryan dam, with a scenic walking area and a behemoth of a power station, this dam boasts 60 megawatts of power.
Last is Morony Dam, with a 390 foot spillway, it produces 49 megawatts of power.
That's 163 megawatts of power produced with the help of the Missouri river right here in The Electric City.
Next time you think about it, take a drive and check them all out.
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