Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

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A glimpse inside SCE's Powerhouse No. 2


On Saturday, March 22, participants on the Three Rivers History Tour, a fundraiser for Three Rivers Union School Foundation, were treated to an insider’s look at Kaweah Powerhouse No. 2 by Karl Coffman, SCE hydro mechanic operator. The historic hydroelectric powerhouse, built in 1905 by Mt. Whitney Power & Electric Company, uses flume-fed water pressure to produce the kilowatts necessary to power 1,000 homes with clean, renewable energy. This is accomplished using some of the original equipment from 114 years ago (in photos).
Taken over by Southern California Edison in 1917, the hydroelectric system consists of four check dams at Mineral King (Franklin, Upper Monarch, Crystal, Eagle), two diversion dams (Middle Fork, Marble Fork), three forebays, many miles of flumes, and three powerhouses: Powerhouse No. 1, built in 1899, located on Highway 198 near the Mineral King Road; Powerhouse No. 2, described above; and Powerhouse No. 3, built in 1913.