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Milestones:Taum Sauk Pumped-Storage Electric Power Plant, 1963

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Taum Sauk Pumped-Storage Electric Power Plant, 1963

IEEE St. Louis Section, Dedication: September 2005 

The Taum Sauk Plant, when it came on-line in 1963, was the largest pure pumped-storage electric power plant in North America. Other pioneering features for this pumped-storage plant were its high capacity turbine-generators and its ability to be operated remotely, 90 miles away, from St. Louis, Missouri.

The Taum Sauk Plant, when it came on-line in 1963, was the largest pure pumped-storage electric power plant in North America, producing 350 MW of power. Other pioneering features for this pumped-storage plant were its high capacity turbine-generators and its ability to be operated from a remote location 90 miles away in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Taum Sauk Project is located in the Ozark Highlands on the east fork of the Black River 90 miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri. Project construction began on 1 June 1960 and the plant's two reversible pump-turbines went into commercial service on 20 December 1963. The project is used primarily to meet daily peak power demands by drawing water from the 4,350 acre-foot captive upper reservoir through the turbines. The water is then pumped back to the upper reservoir from the 6,500 acre-foot lower reservoir at night when power demand is low. The upper lake is 92 feet deep, kidney shaped, with a 55-acre surface area, is one and one-quarter miles in circumference and holds 1.5 billion gallons of water.

Full automation of the generating units and their auxiliary systems from the control room of the Osage Hydroelectric Plant, which is 100 miles away, has been achieved by push button start and stop control utilizing the utility’s microwave system. Loading and unloading of the units is accomplished by remote control from the Load Dispatchers office in St. Louis.