News Release
Feb. 18, 2000


CHARLOTTE — Duke Power’s Rhodhiss Hydroelectric Station turns 75 years young this month. The station first produced electricity on Feb. 23, 1925, and has continued to provide reliable service to Duke Power customers since then.

Duke Power’s 31 hydroelectric stations supply electricity primarily during the 2-to-4 hours each day that make up the "peak" periods, when customers’ use of electricity is at its greatest.

"The contribution of our hydro stations is critical to meeting our customers’ electricity needs," said Curtis Davis, Duke Power senior vice president. "Rhodhiss is one of our first hydro stations, and we’re proud of the people who have made and continue to make Rhodhiss’ contribution possible. Seventy-five years of continuous service is no small achievement; they have earned an anniversary salute."

In its first calendar year of operation, 1925, Rhodhiss produced 22 million of the 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity the company produced that year. Last year (1999), Rhodhiss produced about 39.5 million of the company’s total production of more than 80 billion kilowatt-hours.

Construction on the Rhodhiss darn and hydroelectric station began in January 1924, and the station entered commercial service for the company just 13 months later. Western Carolina Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Power Company, built the 28,000-kilowatt project.

Both Southern Power Company and Western Carolina Power Company became part of Duke Power in 1927.

The Rhodhiss dam is 65 feet high and spans 1,500 feet. The 3,060-acre Lake Rhodhiss, which was formed by the construction of the dam and hydroelectric station, offers recreational opportunities for the region. In cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Duke Power provides four boat access areas on the lake — the Johns River, Rhodiss, Castle Bridge and Conley Creek access areas — and one bank fishing area, the Huffman Bridge Access Area.

In addition, the lake serves as a water source for Granite Falls, Lenoir, Morganton and Valdese.

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to nearly two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system capability is 19,252 megawatts.

Duke Energy (NYSE-DUK) is a global energy company with more than $29 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at:

Contact: Joe Maher
Phone: 704-382-8323
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333