Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Waddamana Power Station Museum, Tasmania


Waddamana Hydro-Electric power station was the first hydro-electric power plant ever operated by the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Department (later the Hydro-Electric Commission or HEC), opened in 1916.
 
The privately owned Tasmanian Hydro-Electric and Metallurgical Co. Ltd. first took a serious interest in generating hydro-electric power from one of Tasmania's highland rivers in late 1909, to provide power for James Gillies' newly patented electrolytic process for zinc refining, and a "carbide" smelter to be constructed near Snug. They resolved to construct a hydro-electric power plant in the valley of the Ouse River (Tasmania), above the town that bears that name. Water was to be provided by a small dam on the great lake at Miena, which would then divert water down the steep drop using a woodstave pipeline and a flume. Construction began in earnest in 1910.
However, the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric and Metallurgical Co. ran out of money before the scheme could be completed, and they sold the incomplete works to the newly formed Hydro-Electric Department in 1914. The works were completed under Hydro-Electric Department ownership in 1915, and the plant was officially opened in 1916. It was the first plant ever operated by them.
The plant operated at its original capacity of 7 megawatts (9,400 hp) from 1916 to 1929, when, in stages, it was upgraded to 49 megawatts (66,000 hp) to meet increased demand.

The Hydro-Electric Commission decided, in 1931, to construct a completely new plant to replace the original Waddamana one. However, lack of funds forced them to build alongside the existing plant instead. Thus, from 1944, two power plants were in operation at Waddamana. The new plant was referred to as Waddamana B, and it generated 48 megawatts (64,000 hp) of electricity from six Pelton turbines.

Both plants operated through the 1940s and 1950s, but, in the early 1960s, construction of a new, larger power plant at Poatina began. Designed to replace the two Waddamana plants, with the small Shannon plant nearby, the Poatina power plant was opened in 1964 with a capacity of 325 megawatts (436,000 hp), over three times the combined capacity of the plants it replaced. In order for the Poatina plant to be successful, it was necessary to stop the flow of water through Waddamana A and Shannon, both of which were decommissioned in 1964. The Shannon plant was demolished, but the two Waddamana plants remained standing. Indeed, Waddamana B remained in active service until 1994 when it too was closed. Waddamana A has since been re-opened as a museum.
Wikipedia 

The town and museum are for sale and both are currently privately owned.


We came around a corner which was flat then, this was the view - way down below was the Station.








Large water pipes which are a little hard to see.




Waddamana is near the Great Lakes but further down South.


46 comments:

  1. Is it working - ie: the comment section?
    Colin

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    1. It is indeed working and blogspot pages are loading now...thanks Colin.

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    2. Good it is. Strange goings on in Blog or Computer land???
      Thanks for the e-mail reply.
      Absolutely bewildering blog on an ( YES AN before a H) Hydro-Electric Power station in our second established colony, when we were discovered by the Europeans - Tasmania by the Dutchman, Abel Tasman, to now be reduced to a Museum site!
      1916 started and 1994 officially closed. Utterly ridiculous to not use Mother Nature's waters to supply electricity.
      I don't even think that the "Greenie mob of Bobby Brown" can be blamed for this stupidity in 1994.
      Looking at the photos shown why close the place???
      You have the mountains, the valley storage water area, and no doubt then the run off of excess water for irrigation purposes for the farming community to survive.
      When in hell's name will Suburbia realise that food does not grow on supermarket shelves ( Greenies do, but I don't).
      I would love to know what politics came into this insanity.
      Certainly a museum to look at for none other reason but to see
      political incompetence and diminished future possibilities.
      I wonder what Abel Tasman would think of this????????????
      Thanks Margaret for this information.
      Colin

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    3. Grammar correction.
      "YES AN before THE H"
      Colin

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    4. The Hydro closed Wadammana power station because they built a more viable one near the Great Lake just out of Potania.

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  2. A town for sale?
    Sigh.
    And thank you for the history lesson.

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  3. It must have cost a lot to maintain the town and the museum.

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    1. I imagine it would be a big expense but quests at the Cottages and Accommodation place would help. It's free to visit the museum.

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  4. Most interesting. I thought it might have been Tarraleah, which is for sale, but no.

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    1. I believe there are a about 3 old towns for sale in Tasmania.
      The man that owns Wadammana at the moment is very ill. We were speaking to his daughter. They have Camps there for the children, accommodation for all types of activities different times in the year.

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  5. I would love to buy it, and then I would turn it into a home for animals, not a zoo, but a freedom base.

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    1. Somehow I could not imagine a home for animals being at Wadammana. Long way to go to find a vet and the isolation along with the cold in winter.

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    2. Surely there are vets in who would be give their hind legs do a job, I know of many. Animals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc etc, who live there? Or, have they gone?

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    3. No vets, shops as there are only a small number of houses. The are is rather isolated too.
      All snakes in Tasmania are very poisonous, the area is rather bushy, not inhabitable in that area also.
      Shop is some miles away and only stocks the basics, most people drive a few hours to get to the supermarket and they stock up.

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  6. interesting place! Here in Finland also many historically important places are for sale. Sad, I think, economy goes first...

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    1. Yes, economy does usually comes first. There is another power station not too far from Wadammana.

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  7. I like the idea of hydro electric. I think my power company uses mostly coal

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  8. Fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  9. We seem to all be having some issues with BlogSpot these days... Anyway, neat post and great pictures.

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    1. Seems as if we are having problems, though I must say for me it's only yesterday so far, apart from the double comment that I don't do personally.
      Thank you.

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  10. Margaret it is a really interesting place.

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  11. Interesting information well accompanied by images.

    Kisses

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  12. Very interesting. Or is it you're writing? Appreciate you sharing.

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  13. Imagine saying that you own a Power Station!
    I have been having some issues with comments too on my blog - Google kept telling me I had a 502 error. I could not reply to any comments but after a few hours it kindly let me in again.

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    1. It has quite some history that old power station.
      That's the error I received too. Seems alight today.

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  14. I do learn a lot about our history on blogs things I never knew about.
    Merle.........

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    1. So do I Merle, that's one good thing about some blogs - we are always learning.

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  15. I knew none of this and so I found it very interesting and would like to thank you for the post as you may know I love historical posts I love learning things about history

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    1. Yes I do know you like history Jo-Anne. I'm pleased you enjoyed.

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  16. Power stations are so huge aren't they?
    Ours here in SA has just closed down.
    Where are we now getting our power from? No idea.

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    1. The Coal Power one at Port Augusta just closed I heard and expect wind and solar maybe is the 'thing' now.

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  17. Oh I think the sale of the "entire town" made it to international news. I recall reading something about a whole town being for sale.

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  18. the view from above is very nice ,power stations are to me wonderful worlds that excites my inner child to look and explore more ,it looks so fascinating too ,thank you dear for great sharing

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  19. Interesting to read Margaret, thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. That's good Jan. This post was a bit long I thought, but necessary.

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  20. I read that Tasmania was back to 100% renewable energy last week because of all the rain. That is pretty amazing. Pity mainland didn't take a more pro-active response to our electricity.

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    1. I believe that all is back to normal - thank goodness.

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