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 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
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.