Hydro Power - Overview

Overview Of Hydropower Project
Click On Photos For Larger Images   Brought on line in 1959, Built and designed by the late Dr. Davidson were two hydro electric stations located within the Hopper Brook Valley. At the heart of each is a impulse turbine, a 24” Pelton Water Motor that uses water from an 18” penstock to turn a 900 rpm generator to create electricity for the entire mountain.

This method of generating power is uncommon in New England where the usual type of electrical power generation is derived from a low dam built across a river or stream with a large flow of water Dr. Davidson In Power Plant thru a Francis or Reaction type turbine. In Davidson’s  method here on Equinox, water from melting snow, springs, small brooks and rainfall are captured and directed to flow into a series of man made ponds and lakes either by diversion ditches or pumped thru pipe lines where that water can be stored or used at will thru a penstock (pipeline) that originates in the pond or lake and ends in the power station.

The fall of the first penstock from Lake Madeleine is 500 feet to the number two Power station, from Hopper Pond to the number one power station is 750 feet which gives this type of generation its name, High Head.  The flow of water thru the Pelton’s is controlled by a Woodward Governor and is in direct proportion to the amount of electricity produced to meet any given load. There has been additions throughout the years, a larger generator to meet a higher in house load, an additional penstock from Hooper Pond to number one station, and increased storage capacities and larger pumps to move the water.

The present day Hydro electric operations on Mount Equinox ideally unchanged from Davidson’s original vision, they have provided power to the mountain for over 40 years.
In times of excess water, both hydro electric generators are connected to the local utility company and the water is then transformed into excess power and it runs off the mountain into the utilities lines and helps to add to Vermont’s power.

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