Sharp's Falls Hydro-Electric Facility (Circa 1931)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PFF
N 36° 27.566 W 081° 33.307
17S E 450259 N 4035051
Quick Description: Sharp’s Falls is a hydro-electric dam located in Ashe County, North Carolina, approximately two miles west of Warrensville along Highway NC-88.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 11/11/2011 8:24:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMD2ZY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member J.A.R.S.
Views: 4

Long Description:
Power is generated by two Francis turbines with a combined output capacity of 200KW. (Francis turbines are the most common water turbine in use today, thanks to their efficiency and their ability to operate with dam heights as small as 30 feet.) According to public records, 759 MWH of power was sold to the regional electricity supplier during a recent year.

HISTORY: In 1930, several tracts of land were conveyed to Northwest Carolina Utilities, Incorporated, “together with the rights to use waters of the North Fork of New River…and the privilege to construct, build and erect a dam across said River at Sharps Falls, 30 feet or less height….and the exclusive rights and privilege to back or pond water and flood any of the lands above said Falls.”

The dam was built in 1931 and is approximately 150 feet wide. The generators are housed in a square stone building. Power is fed through large insulators to transmission lines on the roof.

In 1942, at a price of $170,000, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation purchased the “electric generating, transmission and distribution properties and systems”, along with the land and water rights. (The property transfer is recorded in Deed Book A3 Page 311, Ashe County Registry.)

In the 1980s, the Dam and Power Plant passed into private ownership, and in January 2011, the facility was accepted by the NC Utilities Commission as a Renewable Energy Facility. The request for this status consisted of an original and 30 copies of the State application form, in which the Owner (Sharp’s Falls Power, Inc.) agreed to file annual reports and to allow audits by the Commission.

Information Sources:
Wikipedia (Francis Generators)
Plat Book 7 Page 794
Deed Books 168-1801, A3-311, 296-2385, 282-2143
NC Utility Commission Docket SP-883 SUB O
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources, Instream Flow Unit.
Location of the waterfall:
NC Rt 88
Warrensville, NC United States

Coordinates of parking: N 36° 27.550 W 081° 33.323

Fees: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Type / features of structure: Hydroelectric station

Estimated height in feet: 30

Estimated height in meters: 10.00

Estimated width in feet: 150

Estimated width in meters: 50

River/stream/lake/reservoir: North Fork New River

Flow dates: Not listed

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