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Idols Station, Fries Manufacturing & Power Company
Society
Main Category
Sub Category
Era
Date Created
Location Country
us
Coordinates
36.079349, -80.243887
Address1
Duke Power Company-
Address2
1405 South Broad Street
City
Winston-Salem
State
Country
Zip

This run-of-the-river plant is a typical example of late nineteenth-century small-scale (750 kilowatt) low-head hydroelectric power technology. The Fries Manufacturing and Power Company began operating the Idol's Station on April 18, 1898, making it the first commercial hydroelectric plant in North Carolina involving long-distance power transmission, fourteen-miles distance at 10,000 volts. Idol's was an important power source for transportation, lighting, and industry in the Winston-Salem area. The original equipment, including eight McCormick vertical gear turbines and a three-phase induction generator, was expanded to a second line of turbines around 1903, and was replaced in 1914 with six Allis-Chalmers vertical Francis turbines. The facility is still operating. Designated by the Carolina Section.

Typical 19th-century small-scale, low-head run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant
Image Credit
Courtesy ASME
Image Caption
Idols Station, Fries Manufacturing & Power Company
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