| The municipal power concept began in St. George in March of 1909 with
a small hydro generation system powered by water from the open ditch of
the Cottonwood Canal at the base of Pine Valley Mountain. Beset by problems
and operating at a loss, the city sold their power system along with a 25
year franchise to a private businessman in 1916. It became known as Dixie
Power Company and added additional hydro generating plants on the Santa
Clara Creek near Veyo. This evolved into Southern Utah Power Company which
moved to Cedar City in the early 1930's.
In 1940, when the 25 year franchise expired, the mood of city leaders and
citizens was for St. George to hold its energy future in its own hands.
On May 16, 1941, voters soundly approved $300,000 of electric revenue bonds
and St. George Power Company was started with a diesel power plant on 250
South 350 East.
The Worthington"DD" Engine and GE Generator along with the Pelton Water
Wheel turbine on display at above address were put into power production
in April of 1942. The engine and its' twin were operated by day and along
with the Cottonwood Canal hydro-generator produced enough power to meet
day-time needs of the city. The power plant was shut down at night and the
hydro provided enough power for the city's night-time needs.
By 1952 the diesel plant was expanded to five engines with total output
of 6,788 kW. The expanded diesel plant and hydro were St. George's complete
power source until 1966, when the city started purchasing power from the
Bureau of Reclamation.
The hydro plant ceased operation in 1981 and the Skyline drive power plant
was built in 1986. Both plants were used to shave peak loads until 1989.
Then in 1991 the original plant was retired. Four engines were sold in 1994
and the building was demolished in December of 1995.
Gunlock Hydro was built and put into service in 1987 and power is produced
by releasing irrigation water that turns two Francis turbines and generators
up to 372 kW for the total plant operation.
In July of 1997 UAMPS in partnership with St. George started construction
of an eleven MW plant. This plant is powered by 7 caterpillar 3516 Diesel
engines and is located next to the regional waste water facility in Bloomington.
The plant was designed to boost voltage and be back up of the waste water
facility. It was dedicated in March of 1998 and is operated and maintained
by St. George Power generation.
In May of 1995 the Pine Valley hydro was rebuilt on the original site and
put back in service with a new 600 KW generator and dual nozzle Pelton Wheel