DARLINGTON, Md. – Exelon Generation, the owner and operator of the Conowingo Dam, is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the hydro-electric facility with a two-day community open house Sept. 21 and 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
Conowingo is one of the oldest and largest dams east of the Mississippi River and has been Maryland’s largest source of renewable energy for nine decades. In fact, the Conowingo Dam provides more renewable energy than all other state renewable sources combined, powering more than 159,000 homes and businesses.
“Since 1928, the Conowingo Dam has served as both a clean energy source for Marylanders and a regional tourism destination for millions of visitors,” said Conowingo General Manager Bryan Bennett. “We’re excited to host the public at the dam to celebrate the history of this engineering achievement, to help educate them on how it operates and to recognize the tremendous benefits it provides to the region.”
The open house includes behind-the-scenes tours of the dam’s operations, demonstrating how electricity is generated using the power of the Susquehanna River. The open house will include a look inside the plant including access to the fish lifts, turbine hall and a view of the wheel pit of a working turbine. Online reservations are required to attend the tour.
“These tours are a great opportunity to witness this vital energy source in action, in addition to seeing how the dam provides a much-needed wildlife habitat for bald eagles and recreational space for local families,” said Cheryl Lacovara, president and director of Plumpton Park Zoo in Rising Sun, Md.
Each year, the dam attracts approximately 250,000 recreational visitors. Altogether, its operation delivers more than $300 million in economic benefits to Maryland and its local communities each year. Combined with neighboring Muddy Run, the dam employs a shared workforce of more than 60 Exelon employees, and pays nearly $5 million in property taxes annually.
Throughout the year, Conowingo and its employees also give generously to the community through a variety of charitable activities, including donations to the local United Way chapters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cecil and Harford Counties, the Harford Family House, the Stroud Water Research Center, and the Plumpton Park Zoological Gardens, Inc. Conowingo and its employees also donate food, clothing and time to the Ray of Hope Mission in Port Deposit, and provide winter coats for area children through Operation Warm.