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Cornell University Fall Creek Hydroelectric Plant

The first electrical generation facility in Fall Creek gorge was built in the early 1880's. That plant was powered by water from a dam just above the present dam, with a water wheel just above the present plant with a cable to a generator located near the Foundry. In 1904, the present plant was built. Construction was preceded by replacing Triphammer Dam slightly west of it original location in 1896. Water is supplied to the plant from Beebe Lakeby a five-foot diameter underground penstock, 1700 feet long. The existing intake dates to 1953 and was upgraded in 1981.

The original plant capacity was 300 kW with 2 Pelton Wheel turbines and 2 30kW DC exciters. This was increased in 1913 by adding a 360 kW Francis turbine. The facility was overhauled in 1935 after being completely flooded. In 1957, No. 2 generator was replaced with a 175 kW unit. The plant capacity then stood at 850 kW @2,400 volts. In this configuration, the plant last operated in 1970. It was vandalized in 1972.

In 1981, the plant was completely renovated and all the original machinery removed except for one of the DC exciters. Two Ossberger crossflow turbines were installed with a total rated capacity of 1,950 kW. The plant, however, is limited to about 1,100 kW output because of the size of the penstock.

This hydroelectric plant is "run of river", which means that no water is stored. At all times, 10 cfs must continue to pass over the dam. The average production for this plant is 4.5M KWh to 5.5KWh. 


                                     Unit #1                                     Unit #2


Manufacturer                 Ossberger                                 Ossberger

Type, Model                   Crossflow G8069/17g (2 cell)               Crossflow G1078/20g (2 cell)

Rated Capacity              712 kW (conservative rating)      997 kW (conservative rating)

Net Head                       115 feet                                     115 feet

Discharge                      88.3 cfs                                     123.5 cfs

Speed Increaser:                                                         

Manufacturer                 Flender                                      Flender

Model                            Sen 360                                     Sen 450


Manufacturer                 Reliance                                    Reliance

Type                              Induction motor                          Induction motor

Rated Capacity              800 kW                                     1,072 kW

Voltage                          2,400 V                                     2,400 V



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Hydro Electric Plant Characture