A Travellerspoint blog

Dam Day

semi-overcast 23 °C

Down the road from Fentonbury in Tasmania, is a collection of dams used to create power.

The four dams on this integrated power scheme are located to harness the waters of Tasmania’s mightiest river, the westward-flowing Gordon and it’s tributary, the Serpentine; and to capture the headwaters of the Huon River, which meets the sea far to the south. However, you could see from the original tree line how low the water is at this time
The largest structure is the spectacular concrete arch of the 140m high Gordon Dam, which spans a deep and narrow gorge on the Gordon river, creating the massive Lake Gordon.
This lake alone has an area of 272 square kilometres.
But the designers of the scheme saw the potential to greatly enlarge its capacity. Three rockfill dams – Serpentine, Scotts Peak and Edgar – trap the water of the Serpentine River and the upper Huon, which are then diverted into Lake Gordon through the McPartlan canal. This second storage – the 242 square kilometre Lake Pedder – increase the total capacity of the scheme by more than 40%.

Lake Pedder
Full supply level – 307.5m
Total storage – 3,000,000 Mega Litres
Length of Lake – 40km
Lake area – 242m

So, after providing a fine location for anglers, campers, photographers and visitors who simply enjoy the wonderful wilderness views, the water of the Gordon Scheme eventually plummet 183m underground to spin the turbines and generate the electricity we need to warm and light our homes and to power our factories and businesses.

Lake Gordon Hydro Power Station
Roaring 40’s – restless westerly winds that sweep around the Earth’s southern latitudes below the 40th parallel. They touch land only three times in thousands of kilometres – on New Zealand’s’ South Island, the tip of south America and Tasmania. The winds bring rain and snow – the constantly renewable fuel that drive Hydro Tasmania’s power stations. Water bought by the wind flows into our hydro-electric storages, plummets into penstocks an tunnels, churns through turbines and generates the electricity needed every day. The water then flows back to the sea to begin the cycle again. Power stations like Gordon harness the energy of falling water, using dams, but hydro Tasmania is also capturing the power of the rain-bearing winds. In isolated coastal locations in the west, north-west and north-east of the state, the slender blades of wind turbines are spinning, generating electricity from the roaring 40’s.

Gordon Dam
Completed in 1974, this 140m high concrete arch dam was built by the Hydro-Electric Commission.
It is the highest arch dam and Lake Gordon is the largest storage in Australia at 12,450 million cubic metres) The use of double-curvature enabled the dam’s concrete volume and therefore cost, to be significantly reduced. The dam power station are associated with the construction of the first road into southwest Tasmania, and with the controversy over the flooding of Lake Pedder.
Height – 140m
Length of crest – 198m
Thickness at base – 17.7m
Thickness at crest – 2.8m
Volume of concrete – 154,000 cubic metres
Volume of water at full capacity – 12,450 million cubic metres
First excavation – January 1970
First Concrete poured – January 1972
Final concrete poured – November 1974

Looking upstream, at Lake Gordon behind the dam
Looking downstream from Gordon Dam
It's a long way down...140m...
So this cable car has a long way to go...

Gordon Power Station
Built in a cavern 183m below the surface, the power station has three 150MW Francis turbines. Water enters the turbines through a vertical tunnel from the intake tower. It leaves the power station through a tailrace tunnel and rejoins the Gordon River downstream of the dam,.
With their combined surface area of 541 square kilometres, the two interconnected lakes form the nation’s biggest fresh water storage area. This is equal to 27 Sydney Harbours! At full capacity they hold a total of 14,700 million cubic metres of water!

Serpentine Dam
Type – Rock fill concrete face upstream
Crest length – 131m
Max nieght – 41.5m
Rock fill volume – 14,000 cubic meters

Scotts Peak Dam
Built to dam the upper reaches of the Huon River, Scotts Peak Dam is a 43 meter-high rockfill dam with a bitumen upstream face. Its crest is more than a kilometre long.

Edgar Dam
Smallest dam in the scheme, Edgar is a 17 meter high concrete faced rockfill dam near Scotts Peak at the southern end of Lake Pedder. It’s crest length is 426m holding a dam volume of 104,300 cubic meters.

On the way home, we stopped of to investigate the Creepy Crawly Trail. Not a creepy crawly insight, except for us, avoiding the low braches over the walk way! But a very picturesque walk.
There was a hairy tree...
and this 'burl' on the tree was interesting...

Posted by charlystyles 12:11 Archived in Australia Tagged lake_gordon_dam lake_pedder

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