Farad Hydroelectric Power Plant

farad water plant

The Farad Hydroelectric Power Plant, located about 18 miles upstream from Reno, was constructed in 1899 by Truckee River General Electric Co, the predecessor of Sierra Pacific Power, (known now as NV Energy.) The facility was originally built to fulfill an electrical power contract with the Comstock Pumping Association of Virginia City.

As a side note — Virginia City’s electric distribution system not only was the first in Nevada, it was also designed by Thomas Edison in the late 1890’s. By contrast, Consolidated Power & Telephone in Southern Nevada began supplying elec­tricity to Las Vegas in 1906 using a small second-hand dc generator.

Water was diverted from the Truckee River into a flume at Floriston about a mile upstream from Farad. In 1906, an additional 75 cubic feet per second would be added to the flume’s capacity, with a total electrical output rated at 2.5 megawatts.

In September 2000, Sierra Pacific announced it would sell its water business. The cities of Reno and Sparks plus Washoe County formed the Truckee Meadows Water Authority in order to acquire the related assets including the four minihydro plants.

Farad has been out of service since 1997 when its approach flume washed out.


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