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Bear Swamp Hydroelectric Power Station facts for kids

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Bear Swamp Generating Station or Jack Cockwell Station is a pumped-storage hydroelectric underground power station that straddles the Deerfield River in Rowe and Florida, Massachusetts. It is one of many hydroelectric facilities along the river, giving that waterway the nickname of "the hardest working river in the county".

The reservoir covers 88 acres (36 ha), storing about 1.7 billion gallons at an elevation of 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level, 770 feet (230 m) higher than the lower reservoir. To move the huge volumes of water (8,800 cubic feet per second uphill and 10,760 cf/s downhill) in both directions, Bear Swamp uses reversible water turbines of the Francis type.

New England Power Company developed Bear Swamp to meet the expanded peak load periods when New England's electricity consumers place the heaviest demand on the system. Construction started in 1968 and was completed in 1974. The station can produce about 600 megawatts (800,000 hp) of power for up to 6 hours during the day. The station can respond from zero to full capacity in under 3 minutes.

An underground visitor' center provides an automated slide show and other information about the history of the project and its site. More than 60,000 guests visit this location each year.

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