Photos: Hydropower standing strong after 100 years

Remarkable beauty at Duke Energy’s SC power plants

Fishing Creek Hydro Station was celebrating its 100th birthday while I was in nearby Columbia, S.C., so I stopped at a few plants to practice my photography hobby. I stood on the banks of the Catawba River just before dawn amazed by the tranquility and staying power of these plants. 

When Dr. W. Gill Wylie, James Buchanan Duke and William States Lee decided to electrify the Carolinas in the early 1900s, they started with hydropower. Its still an important part of the United States’ balanced energy mix. It provided nearly 6 percent of the nation’s energy in 2015 and about half of renewable energy generated.

Hydropower provides about one percent of Duke Energy’s U.S. energy production, but the company’s more than 30 stations are able to activate quickly to meet customer demand during extreme temperatures. In addition to reliable power, communities near lakes created by Duke Energys stations are able to enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, and even photography.