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Thread: Frogponds Power Station, USA May 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 2009

    Default Frogponds Power Station, USA May 2019

    Now Flickr has stopped having huge issues after the server migration I can post stuff again!

    Whilst on my travels I was lucky enough to be able to shoot this lovely power station, which as it turned out was a sister station to one I explored last year however overall this one I felt had more to offer. I'd known about it for some time, but the opinion I always took away whenever speaking with people about it was that it was a stripped empty shell that had been derelict for years and not worth bothering with. That assumption that many people had held turned out to be totally untrue!

    The coal-fired power station began generating electricity in 1945 during a time of rapid expansion of the power station network in the USA, countless plants over there were built in the decade after the war ended. It operated quite happily until the 1990s when a shortage of available fuel resulted in the plant burning, among other things, chipped up rubber tyres dug up from landfills and criminal evidence waste from police forces just to keep the plant online. In 1999 the company operating the plant was bought out and the new owners must have taken one look at what was going on in the plant and decided to close it almost immediately. The power station was placed on 'cold standby' in 2000 and has been abandoned ever since. Much like the sister plant I explored last year, the two 30MW turbines were half dismantled after closure but everything else has been left pretty much as it was.

    This power plant had a design unlike any other I've seen before as well, it was quite strange. The turbine hall was built at ground level with the associated gubbins underneath them constructed below ground. The space underneath the turbines has now flooded quite alarmingly and this had the added effect of creating a misty haze in the turbine hall on this particular day. It was all quite surreal for me to walk into the turbine hall and find it all misty at one end.

    This place also has the dubious distinction of being the location that has had the most loose and broken asbestos in it I've ever seen - huge chunks and piles of the stuff everywhere in the boiler house, asbestos lagging falling off the pipes everywhere, it was quite grim.

    Thanks for looking :)
    My Flickr


  2. Thanks given by: 5t3tcv743, etc100, Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, Mearing, Mikeymutt, ocelot397, psykie, Sabtr, smiler
  4. #2
    Join Date
    April 2008


    Damn. Got rather excited there!
    That's a fabulous location - regardless of the fact it wants to slowly murder you..

    Always beats me why thieves go for motor windings when beside them they have easy heavy duty switches to dismantle... unless they're live!
    A strange design but I suspect done because suitable bedrock to support a heavier building is too far down? Lifting heavy machinery around during construction would be easier and quicker too.

    Closest I've come to actual power generation is driving past a power station so reports like this (for me) are awesome :)

  5. #3
    Join Date
    February 2008
    Rawdon Leeds


    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    Always beats me why thieves go for motor windings when beside them they have easy heavy duty switches to dismantle... unless they're live!
    A strange design but I suspect done because suitable bedrock to support a heavier building is too far down? Lifting heavy machinery around during construction would be easier and quicker to
    The scrap value of switches, heavy duty or not, is nothing when compared with the scrap value of the vast and easily got at copper windings in the armature of a large electric motor.

    The design of this place is infact fairly common and is nothing to do with bedrock, it is more to do with local planning regulations and 'airspace' above large buildings. During my working years I actually visited a number of American power stations. BR were having trouble discharging coal from the 'Merry-Go' (HAA) coal wagons in freezing winter conditions, and because the then new Trent Stations had no provision for ground stocking coal supplies, a couple of American firms; who had solved similar problems in the States, got involved in helping us. CEGB actually built a huge freezer unit at High Marnham Power Station, so that loaded HAA wagons could be frozen solid in the high summer temperatures when the tests were done! Generating capacity was so short then, that carrying out tests in the winter months could not be risked. Sadly the HAA was a very badly designed wagon (done by a Committee) and the US solution of spraying the coal with antifreeze, as it was loaded into the wagon, did not work because the UK coal was virtually dust and required gallons of antifreeze per wagon to prevent the load freezing. The US coal was in much larger lumps and did not require so much antifreeze to coat it.

    On a serious note - I hope that if people do go walking about this asbestos contaminated place, then they wear full protection including coveralls and when they come out, they remove the protection, bag it and then dispose of as asbestos waste. Over the years I have seen far too many people come out of contaminated buildings, remover mask and overalls, then chuck them in the boot of the car and drive off. Clearly the car could become contaminated and become a danger to family members. As I have said before; my old Boss was the BR Eastern Region asbestos King, and he died a horrible death from Mesothelioma. How you ask? Because as a young apprentice in the late '40's at the Doncaster Plant Works, along with his mates, he made snowballs from the piles of blue asbestos that were in the boiler insulation shop. They knew no better back then; we do now, so do not take even the smallest risk.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    October 2013


    That's a corker..still plenty too see
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    February 2007


    The analogue switches and instruments are fantastic, shame about the flooding and asbestos though! Excellent report as always Mookster
    Aversos Compono Animos

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