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UER Mobile > US: Pacific Southwest > Abandoned power plant in NorCal (Viewed 628 times)

post by TobaColwyn   |  | 
Abandoned power plant in NorCal
< on 8/10/2023 9:46 PM >

I found an abandoned power plant and flume in the mountains and wanted to share since I haven't seen anything about it on here. The power plant receives water from up stream via a wooden flume (think above ground canal) into the upper building. The upper building then sends it through the pipes to the lower building where turbines make power and release it back into the river.

This power plant was built in 1899 and provided 2800 KW of power to nearby mining operations. The flume that brings in water to here was originally 2 miles long but good portions have been destroyed by snowfall and lack of maintenance after this plants closing. The highest the flume gets off the ground is 36 feet so watch your step while inside. This plant closed in 1989 but 3 plants like it still operate to this day.

Lower and upper buildings



Looks to be a 3 foot diameter pipe to transport water between them



Inside the water diversion channel, looks like a cold war era guard wall to me



The flume, which gets more decayed the further I go





Where the water went into the upper building



Inside the upper building was also pretty cool, the center of the floor had no rodent droppings, just the corners of the room so I think the owner of the property has swept it or something

Water inlet inside the building



Water control turn valve for those wood pipes



Control room maybe? Locked tight



Various electronic panels, I assume the first photo is power into the station and monitoring and the second one is electric valve control




[last edit 8/10/2023 10:24 PM by TobaColwyn - edited 1 times]

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post by sunlight   |  | 
Re: Abandoned power plant in Norcal
<Reply # 1 on 8/10/2023 10:15 PM >

Great find and thanks for the writeup--I've heard the flume gets rickety and partly rotted, so I'm glad you're still here to post your report and photos.

And though this location has become more well-known recently, it would still be good if you can edit your post (and Flickr) to remove the location name, or make it much more "approximate," especially since this is a public thread. E.g. saying the general region instead of the name of the nearby geographic feature. It helps keep locations around longer...cause not everyone is as interested in documentation/preservation as we are

Been enjoying your recent posts and following your Flickr...keep it up!

Edit: @TobaColwyn pointed out that my reply still keeps the old title even after the original was changed. Thanks for your heads up, in turn!

[last edit 8/11/2023 3:06 AM by sunlight - edited 1 times]

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post by TobaColwyn   |  | 
Re: Abandoned power plant in NorCal
<Reply # 2 on 8/10/2023 10:33 PM >

I made it more vague as to the approximate location by changing the area to norcal on here and flickr let me know if there is anything else I should change, I tried to make sure the exact location was not in my post but yeah I think my approximate location narrowed it down a little too much.

As far as the flume goes, they are supposed to be fully replaced every few decades, so it is very weak and rotted, as long as you watch your step and check if it moves as you put weight on it, you should be good to walk it though. The end of the concrete bypass section ends about 10-15 feet in the air and honestly looks like a cool spot to sit and have lunch or something


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