Generating the Current
In 1984, Malcolm Brown and Anne Larsen bought the old generating site next to the dam and began the work of transforming the man-made lake into a resource capable of producing power. Hydro electricity is produced by directing water from Lake Jefferson into a pair of turbines, where the force of the moving water causes the turbine to spin. The spinning action of the turbine creates electricity by turning a shaft that is connected to a gearbox which in turn is connected to a generator. In order to bring water from the lake down to the turbines, a hole was punched through the core wall of the dam and a long steel tube called the penstock was attached to direct the falling water into two turbines (one 25 kw and one 45 kw) in the powerhouse situated below the dam.
Jeffersonville Hydroelectric Company began generating power in 1986, producing power for the powerhouse and selling the rest of the energy back to the utility NYSEG, New York State Electric and Gas. At full power, the hydroelectric facility can generate enough power for 20-25 homes.