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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Moline Water Power Company Power Plant
Mississippi River Power Plant
Moline, Illinois

Moline Water Power Company Power Plant

• Structure: Moline Water Power Company Power Plant.
• Location: River Mile 484.8.
• Dam Width: 440 Feet Overall.
• River Elevation (Pool): 561 Feet.
• River Elevation (Outflow): 545 Feet.
• Water Fall: 15 Feet.
• Date Opened: Opened 1899.
The first power plant at this location spanned all the way across the Sylvan Slough back channel of the Mississippi River. The Sylvan Canal was cut at that time, 1869 to 1871, which carried the outflow water from the power plant. Note that this was mechanical power, which was delivered by a shaft and belts to nearby industry. The light bulb was not invented until 1879, and electric motors were not yet common.

The 1871 structure was removed and rebuilt in 1898 to 1899. It was moved about 500 feet downstream. In its new configuration, it only crosses Sylvan Canal. It no longer crosses the entire Sylvan Slough back channel. The plant now takes water from the back channel, generates hydropower using water turbines, and then discharges the water into the Sylvan Canal. This is known as a run of the river power plant due to not having a storage reservoir behind the dam.

The power plant was rebuilt again in 1941 to 1942. The current 3.2-megawatt hydropower generators were installed. In addition, gas and oil turbines were installed to generate an additional 64-megawatts of electrical power. The plant continues in operation today under the flag of the Mid-American Energy Company.

Moline Water Power Company Power Plant
Moline Water Power Company Power Plant
Moline Water Power Company Power Plant

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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