The Avon Lake Power Plant
Is One Of The Last Of Its Kind!
If you’ve driven along the shores of Lake Erie, you may have seen the massive Avon Lake Power Plant. If you’ve been on an airplane flying into Cleveland, you may have seen this enormous building from the air. And, if you’ve enjoyed a boat ride on Lake Erie, you may have seen it from the water, too. In fact, it’s been a landmark in this area of the country since 1926.
The Avon Lake Power Plant is one of less than 250 coal-fired power plants left in the United States. Situated on the southern shore of the shallowest of the Great Lakes, the Avon Lake Power Plant takes advantage of the abundance of cool water to create enough steam power to turn a turbine which then generates electricity.
Only one unit on coal remains in use at this time and it actually runs less than 1/4 of the year. This massive generator can’t be powered up with the flip of a switch. It requires a day’s notice to get it fired up.
Dan Rogatto is the Power Plant Manager who knows all the inner workings of the plant. He’s been at this plant for 12 years and knows every detail of it but he’s worked in energy for a total of almost 40 years so he’s seen a lot of change, especially in recent years.
The Avon Lake plant was built in 1926 but is essentially using the same process it was intended for almost 100 years ago. What has changed has been the standards for clean air and water, as well as better safety.
Dan took Kathryn Eyring on an extensive tour of the plant which covered the main floor, the upstairs and rooftop, all the way to the basement level and outside. He even guided her into one of the stacks to look up from the bottom.
Blowing the Stacks?
Local people have always wondered what is happening when there are loud noises from the plant and it’s often referred to as “blowing the stacks.” Many people have mistakenly thought the plant was cleaning the stacks and blowing pollution into the air.
Dan Rogatto explained that it’s just a release valve that is meant to release steam if pressure is too high – just the same as a hot water tank in the average home. It keeps the machinery and workers safe.
There are rumors about beautiful artwork there that couldn’t be substantiated, but it’s TRUE that the original architecture is a sight to see!
You’ll enjoy this interview with Dan Rogatto and the historic photos included, but don’t miss the end! There is footage from basement to the rooftop of the plant when the interview is concluded.
Thank you to the Plant Manager, Dan Rogatto, for generously taking time out of his day to satisfy the curiosity of Aging Gracefully TV subscribers!
Share your thoughts in the comment box below…
Do you think it’s a good idea to have a variety of options for electrical generation?
Have you ever been in a coal-fired plant before?
Had you ever thought about power plant workers working 24/7 and on holidays for our conveniences? Let’s give them a round of applause!
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