Penstock outlet at Marys Lake power plant

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Comments (14)

©junebug on November 20, 2007

Wow! Great shot, Rich! What is the white 'cloud' in the center of the picture? Steam, water? Cheers, Anne

Richard Ryer on November 20, 2007

Greetings Anne, Thanks for visiting the Power Plant at Mary's Lake and commenting about the plume. The spray is the water being returned to the lake after passing through the power generating turbines. What they do is pump water uphill during low demand periods, then let it back down the penstocks to the turbines to generate power during peak demand periods. They use the same water over and over. It looks pretty neat when the water is spraying out. Hope that makes sense for where the plume comes from.

Cheers,

Rich

©junebug on November 20, 2007

Thank you for explaining, Rich! Now I understand. I think it's a good way of generating power. Cheers, Anne

Richard Ryer on November 20, 2007

Greetings Anne, Every once in a while we decide to do something right over here and even make it a little neat to look at!! :-)) The same type of power plant is located at the base of Independence Pass on the Leadville side. It is called Twin Lakes. They don't have a plume.

Cheers,

Rich

©polytropos on November 23, 2007

Well, it's obvious what happens on the picture: As we can see the lake has a descent of at least 12-15% to the right side so the water is running together somewhere on the right end of the lake from where it has to be pumped up on the upper end. :-)

Richard Ryer on November 23, 2007

Greetings Polytropos, It is actually a perpetual motion system peculiar to Estes Park and Mary's Lake. The Indians were aware of this phenomenon long before the white man arrived. In an effort to prevent all the water from piling up on the right shore line, they installed the pipes that sprays the water back to the left shore where it flows rapidly back to the right and back into the system. It's one of those unusual situations where you can coast the car up the hill, but really have to gas the engine to get back down to town.

Cheers,

Rich

©polytropos on November 23, 2007

So, it's a really nice place for water skiing, especially for the discipline downhill.

Richard Ryer on November 23, 2007

Exactly, there are ropes anchored on the left shore and the skiers are ferried out by boat, given the rope and turned loose. There are jet skis ready to gather in the skiers who fall and take them back to safety. The skiers I have talked with liken it to skiing on the edge of a water fall. Every once and a while you'll see a ski or swimming suit blow out in the spray, but other than that it is pretty safe.

Cheers,

Rich

©polytropos on November 23, 2007

Ah, I see, that's the reason why the beach of this lake is called Ropacabana.

©polytropos on November 23, 2007

A prospos rope, do you mean there is an affinity to --> this one?

Richard Ryer on November 23, 2007

They tried to hold a surfing competition on the spray in the late 90's but had to abandon all plans for an annual event after several "accidents" identified an unacceptable risk for exposure to an "enema affect" when falling in certain awkward positions. Perhaps the future development of safety equipment will facilitate the return of the event. We'll have to wait and see.

Cheers,

Rich

©polytropos on November 27, 2007

BTW: there is an own topic in the Forum about "downhill lakes".

Feel free for entering new fields. :-)

Goatfan on March 3, 2009

This is not a pumped storage Poweplant, the water comes from Grand Lake through the Adams Tunnel to East Portal above the YMCA Camp, through tunnels, canals, penstocks, then through Marys Lake Powerplant, out to Estes PP, then Pole Hill PP, Flatiron PP and Big Thompson PP, the water ends up in Carter Lake and Horsetooth Resv. This is water being bypssed when the Generator is offline(down). Same water runs 5 powerplants on the Big Thompson Water Project, I worked there in all five Powerplants. Irrigation for 1 million acres.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 17, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Richard Ryer
    • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
    • Taken on 2007/11/17 11:15:38
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 85.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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