Hydroelectric West Virginia History WV Energy / Natural Resources

Hawks Nest / Glen Ferris

<<This section does not deal with the original construction. For that information, see the MH3WV “History” page>>

“Hawks Nest tunnel and dam is a marvel of modern engineering. Completed in June, 1936, the tunnel is 16,240 feet in length and drops in elevation a total of 163 feet to a hydroelectric plant downstream near Gauley Bridge. It creates a 5.5 mile section of the river often called “The Dries” between the dam and the power plant. Glen Ferris is a facility at Kanawha Falls.” They both supply power to the ferro-alloy plant downriver at Alloy.

brookfield hawks nest

“FERC Relicensing of Hawks Nest Project and Glen Ferris Project” — Document includes pictures, maps and data that explains the two hydro projects as part of the Federal relicensing process.

Explore Brookfield’s “Relicensing” Document pdf

Explore Brookfield Renewable’s Commercial Website

          “Hawks Nest Dam and Tunnel” – Ansted WV

“Built in the early 1930s, the Hawks Nest Dam created a 250 acre lake on the New River near Ansted, WV. Water from the lake is diverted through a 3 mile long tunnel under Gauley Mountain to a hydroelectric facility on the other end.

“For the first time since 1936, no water flows through the 3.1-mile long Hawks Nest Tunnel, leaving the hydroelectric turbines at the power plant it serves idle. “Until now, the tunnel has never been dewatered,” said Kevin Moriarty, area operations manager for Brookfield Renewable, the Canadian company that owns the Hawks Nest dam, tunnel and powerhouse.

“The hydropower project, still West Virginia’s largest, “has had a good, productive life for more than 80 years,” Moriarty said. “We thought now, rather than later, was the time for a check-up and to make a few repairs to make sure it’s good to go for the next 80 or 100 years.”


“Assessing the Significance of Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project – Cultural Resource Analysts”


“Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., conducted a cultural historic survey of the Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project on the New and Kanawha Rivers in Fayette County, West Virginia. The massive Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project was developed in its current form between 1927 and 1932 by a subsidiary of the Union Carbide & Carbon Corporation as a regional mega-project to supply power to a remote electro-metallurgical production facility.”

Explore information from CRAI’s “Assessing the Significance of Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydro Electric Project” commercial website

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