An industrial plant that generates electricity, a power station, or a powerhouse.

Power plants of today mostly use the energy of the fossil fuels, water, nuclear power, solar power, wind and biomass energy. They transform these various forms of energy into electricity, which is then distributed to the users.

The first hydroelectric power plant was a waterwheel on the Fox river in Wisconsin, U.S. built in 1882.

The most efficient power plants are the nuclear ones, but they also pose a great environmental risk because of the risk of accidents and because of the toxic waste they create. The cleanest power plants are those based on exploitation of water, wind and solar power, but they often don't produce quite as much energy. Somewhere in the middle are those plants powered by natural gas. Plants that are powered by crude oil and coal tend to be quite dirty, and they contribute significantly to the global warming (the greenhouse effect) and create acid rain.

Power plants have to work around the clock, so workers in the power plants are subject to strain and stress. Most accidents in the nuclear plants are said to be caused by human errors.

One of the interesting types of power plants are the reversible hydroelectric plants, they function in two phases. First phase is production of energy by having water turn the turbines run down the river, from a lake (an accumulation of water) on a higher altitude than the power plant itself. This usually happens during the day. In the night, the plant pumps that same water back to the lake using huge pumps and pipes. These require quite a lot of energy to run, however, the electricity is sufficiently cheaper in the night and it all pays off.

darn tangentialism :-)

The name of a Baltimore building that has seen a variety of uses in its century of existence.

After three railroad companies merged to form the United Railways and Electric Company, a new source of electricity was needed to power the cars that would traverse over 300 miles of streetcar tracks. A new power plant was begun in 1900 directly on the Inner Harbor, was built in three pieces, and was completed in 1909. The plant was purchased in 1921 by Consolidated Gas and Electric Light and Power, the company that would later become Baltimore Gas and Electric, and was used to heat downtown buildings until 1973.

The Power Plant sat idle until City of Baltimore purchased the building in 1979, and in the 1980s it was used as an "urban theme park" operated by Six Flags. When that project failed, the space was used as a nightclub for a few years, but that also closed down.

Once again the building on Pier 4 was quiet for several years, throughout most of the 1990s. In 1998, the "new" Power Plant opened as home to several major retail chains. The building currently houses an ESPN Zone, Hard Rock Cafe restaurant, and Barnes and Noble bookstore. Its four smokestacks have now been partially obscured by a large guitar bearing the Hard Rock Cafe logo.


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