Gaston Hydro Power Station

Thelma, NC
Powers 55,000 homes

Brief Facts

  • Power house generating units:
    • Net generating capacity - 220-megawatts (4 generators)
    • One adjustable and three fixed-blade propeller type turbines
  • Commercial operations began in 1963
  • Gaston Dam:
    • Length: 3,600 feet
    • Maximum height: 105 feet
    • Crest gates- Type: Radial, Number: 11
  • Gaston Hydro Power Station River flows at dam site:
    • Average annual flow: 8,000 cu. ft per sec.
    • Maximum flow of record (8/18/1940): 261,000 cu. ft. per sec.
    • Minimum flow of record (12/16/1955): 250 cu. ft. per sec.
    • Turbine discharge capacity: 48,000 cu. ft. per sec.
  • Reservoir (Lake Gaston) (Characteristics at 200 feet elevation at dam):
    • Length of reservoir: 34 miles
    • Length of shoreline: 350 miles
    • Maximum width: 1.3 miles
    • Storage: 450,000 acre-feet
    • Reservoir surface: 20,300 acres
  • Elevations (feet above mean sea level):
    • Top of dam: 217
    • Base of dam: 110
    • Top of spillway gates: 203
    • Normal full power pool: 200
  • The dam lies about eight miles upstream from Dominion Energy's other station on the Roanoke River, the Roanoke Rapids Power Station.
  • A submerged weir or underwater dam at Lake Gaston directs surface water from the lakes into the station. The weir rises to within 15 feet of the surface to ensure that high quality water is discharged from the power stations to benefit the aquatic life and provide recreational opportunities and economic growth in the lower Roanoke River Basin.