DARLINGTON, MD - Over the last weekend of summer 2013, more than 1,000 people took advantage of the nice weather and spent their day learning how Maryland's Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station produces clean, renewable energy. Conowingo, which stretches across the lower Susquehanna River, connecting Maryland's Harford and Cecil Counties via U.S. Route 1, hosted a public open house for visitors to experience how the dam has been keeping the lights on for more than 85 years.
At the open house, visitors were able to see Conowingo's 11 turbine generators, including the original seven turbines that went online in 1928 and continue to produce clean energy today. Inside Conowingo's powerhouse, visitors had the opportunity to step inside one of the turbines and see for themselves how the dam uses the waters of the mighty Susquehanna to make energy. Visitors also learned how Conowingo's fish lift helps more than 1 million migratory and resident fish, including American shad, navigate the Susquehanna past the dam every year.
"Conowingo gets a lot of interest from the public, so we decided to set aside a weekend so our employees could host tours of the dam," said Conowingo General Manager Ken Poletti. "Our employees enjoy being a part of the community and they take an enormous amount of pride in Conowingo, so they were very happy to show it off to visitors." Over the course of the two-day open house, more than 1,000 visitors toured Conowingo, many of which were families with children.
Conowingo is the largest producer of renewable energy in Maryland, capable of generating 572 megawatts of clean energy. Producing more than energy, Conowingo also produces positive economic impact to Maryland, delivering $273 million in annual economic benefits to the state and its host communities, and directly and indirectly contributing 265 full-time equivalent jobs. Each year, more than 250,000 visitors enjoy the recreation provided by Conowingo, which includes the preservation of thousands of acres of open space for hiking, bike riding and photography and access to the Susquehanna River for fishing, boating and kayaking. For more information on Conowingo relicensing, please visit www.supportconowingodam.com.