Bad Creek Pumped Storage Hydro Station
Within a short distance of the Outdoor Classroom is the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Station. This 1,065-megawatt facility is located in Oconee County, eight miles north of Salem, S.C. The four-unit station, which began generating electricity in 1991, is the largest hydroelectric station on the Duke Energy system.
Bad Creek has the unique ability to operate in either generation or pumping mode. In generation mode, water held in an upper reservoir flows by gravity through a turbine generator, producing electricity before emptying into a lower reservoir (Lake Jocassee) – just like a conventional hydroelectric station.
In pumping mode, excess electricity available during low-demand periods spins the turbine generators in reverse. Water from the lower reservoir is pumped back to the upper reservoir for reuse in the generation mode.