Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility

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Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility
CountryUnited States
Coordinates39°50′49″N 76°17′29″W / 39.847024°N 76.291462°W / 39.847024; -76.291462Coordinates: 39°50′49″N 76°17′29″W / 39.847024°N 76.291462°W / 39.847024; -76.291462
Construction began1964
Commission date1968
Construction cost$73 million (1968)
Pumped-storage power station
Upper reservoirMuddy Run Reservoir
Upper res. capacity11 billion U.S. gallons (41.57 GL, 33,700 acre-feet, 1000 acres)
Lower reservoirConowingo Pond
Lower res. capacity1 trillion U.S. gallons (3790 GL, 310,000 acre-feet, 9000 acres)
Hydraulic head410 ft (120 m)
Pump-generators8 × 134 MW reversible Francis type
Power generation
Nameplate capacity1072 MW
Capacity factorunknown (75% efficient)
Annual net output-361 GW·h (2016)

Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility was built by the Philadelphia Electric Company and is a pumped-storage hydroelectric generation facility in Drumore Township, Pennsylvania, United States. When completed in 1968,[1] Muddy Run was the largest pumped-storage facility in the world. The facility is operated by the Susquehanna Electric Company, a subsidiary of Exelon Generation. Ernest Spey was the superintendent of Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam and the new Muddy Run facility until 1989.

The facility's upper reservoir is the 1,000-acre (400 ha) Muddy Run Reservoir, with a full pool elevation of over 500 feet (150 m), and a usable storage capacity of 1,466 million cubic feet (33,700 acre⋅ft; 41.5 hm3). Muddy Run Reservoir was created by damming Muddy Run with a 4,800 feet (1,500 m) long, 250 feet (76 m) high, rock-filled dam.[1] The lower reservoir is the Conowingo Reservoir, created in the Susquehanna River by the Conowingo Dam, with a normal pool elevation of 109 feet (33 m). The power house uses excess grid capacity during off peak hours to pump water from the Conowingo Reservoir into the upper reservoir through four 25-foot (7.6 m) diameter, 343-foot (105 m) vertical shafts. During peak power demand periods, the water is allowed to flow back from the lake through the shafts to the eight turbines causing the pumps to act as generators. Muddy Run has a capacity of 1,071 megawatts.[2]

The Muddy Run electrical machinery was designed by the noted engineer Eugene C. Whitney of Westinghouse Electric Company, who designed the machinery for the Grand Coulee Dam #3 powerhouse. Whitney "was present when the machines were first to be started. The operator was reluctant to take the first step. Gene said, 'Call your boss.' The boss said, 'If Gene says to start the machines, start them.' So they did, and water rose from the lower Susquehanna River to the upper reservoir, 400 feet above".[3]

The upper reservoir extends into Martic Township. The area around the upper reservoir is operated as a park, complementing the nearby Susquehannock State Park. Susquehannock State Park has an overlook trail with a good view of the Muddy Run facility.


  1. ^ a b "Muddy Run Warning System To Be Tested October 13". 2005-10-03. Archived from the original on 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
  2. ^ "Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility". Archived from the original on 2006-03-13. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
  3. ^ Harder, Edwin L.; Lee A. Kilgore (2002). "Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10". The National Academies Press. pp. 249–50.[permanent dead link]

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