Began operation in 1931. For early settlers, the rolling Osage River in the heart of Missouri's Ozark wilderness provided a way of life and a source of livelihood, whether that was fishing, farming, logging or other pursuits. Then in the 1930s, the river was harnessed when Union Electric Company (now AmerenUE) built Bagnell Dam to provide power for a growing state and a budding economy. The 1930s-era building of Bagnell Dam and AmerenUE's Osage hydroelectric plant created a range of recreational opportunities in the now popular Lake of the Ozarks.
Every hour the Osage Plant operates, other energy resources, which take thousands of years to replace, are preserved. As water passes through the dam, the pressure of the falling water spins water wheels, which drive generators that produce electricity. In a typical year, Osage Plant uses the clean energy of falling water to produce as much power as 225,000 tons of coal or one million barrels of oil.
The lake is a valuable resource for wildlife preservation. As part of its charge to protect the lake area, AmerenUE regulates the construction of boat docks and other structures. Adopt-the-Shoreline, aimed at year-round clean up of debris, is sponsored by AmerenUE. It is patterned after a program the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department has used along roadways for several years.
AmerenUE also sponsors and actively participates in an annual Shoreline Beautification Clean-up each spring and has established a 24-hour Lake of the Ozarks hotline for reporting shoreline protection and environmental concerns: call 314.365.9203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org