Electricity from Water is not a new concept here in St Cloud, did you know that the first Hydroelectric Dam in St Cloud was built in 1888? The current St Cloud Hydroelectric Facility Dam was built in and became operational 100 years later on the 1st of June 1988 fully harnessing the power of the mighty Mississippi River.
The Hydroelectric Dam in St Cloud Minnesota, located next to St Cloud State University along the Mississippi River and 2.5 miles upstream from the Beaver Islands, can generate up to an astounding 9 megawatts. This is due to the 2 turbines and the fact that, on average, there is 6,450 cubic feet of water flowing per second.
Designed to be more in harmony with the river the hydroelectric dam in St Cloud does not interrupt the river by stopping it's normal flow to create a massive reservoir and pressure. Instead the St Cloud Hydroelectric Dam operates under a Run of the River Mode, meaning the Mississippi River freely flows.
The electricity is generated by the falling water passing through channels and rotating the magnetized turbines inside of their coils of wire. It takes roughly 124 rotations per minute to generate electricity. The electricity produced here in this plant can produce 48 million kilowatts annually, the City of St Cloud equates this to saving the burning of 7.000 tons of coal. If you would like more information on the St Cloud Minnesota Hydroelectric Generation Facility there is a nice brochure available for download on their site.