Hoover Dam was the tallest dam in the world when it was built in 1935. From about 1938 to 1948, the Hoover Dam power plant was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. Since then, larger facilities have been built, but its capacity remains remarkable. On July 18, Editor Michelle Segrest joined Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) Executive Director Adam Stolberg and a couple dozen other SWPA members 500 feet above the dam on the skybridge and discussed the impact of the pumps used to produce the 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year for use in Nevada, Arizona and California.
There are 17 main turbines in the Hoover power plant. With a rated capacity of almost 3 million horsepower, the plant has a nameplate capacity of 2,074,000 kilowatts. The two 2,400 kilowatt station service units are driven by water wheels, which provide electrical energy for lights and for operating cranes, pumps, motors, compressors and other electrical equipment within the dam and power plant.
Hoover Dam is 726.4 feet tall from foundation rock to the roadway on the crest of the dam, and the concrete structure weighs more than 6.6 million tons. The maximum water pressure at the base of the dam is 45,000 pounds per square foot. An in-depth article on this tour will be featured in the November issue.