Saint Marys Falls Hydropower Plant, Sault Ste. Marie

4.4
#18 of 19 in Things to do in Sault Ste. Marie
The Saint Marys Falls Hydropower Plant is an 18-MW hydroelectric generating plant located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (the "Soo"). It extracts water from the St. Marys River under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, and the power is taken up and distributed by the Cloverland Electric Cooperative, a rural utility that serves the Soo area.
As of 2013, the Soo hydropower plant is one of the oldest large generating stations still operating in the United States. The power canal and generator complex were begun in September 1898 and completed in June 1902, using engineering work from the first iteration of large-scale electrical generation in the late 1800s. It was from this work that the plant and utility that grew up around it acquired their historic name of Edison Sault, although Thomas Edison did not himself build the plant.
The Soo hydropower plant was built to contain 74 generators under a single roof. This was done under the constraints of the Classical style, by building an industrial structure of in length parallel to the St. Marys River and facing the structure with masonry. The sandstone facing of the power station was chiseled out of blocks pulled from the Edison Sault Power Canal, the feeder canal that chutes water to the plant. President William Howard Taft visited the plant in 1911. The power canal and hydroelectric plant were together named a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1983.
To visit Saint Marys Falls Hydropower Plant and other attractions in Sault Ste. Marie, use our Sault Ste. Marie route maker website .
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Saint Marys Falls Hydropower Plant Reviews
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  • Seeing it from the water was spectacular. So large, and design was wonderful. The columns are lighthouses. A must see.  more »
  • Saw this on our drive to the Sault Ste Marie Soo Locks Cruise but on the cruise they explain the history behind this 1/4 mile long building. Amazing.  more »

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