Take a look inside the Power House in Keokuk

Celebrating 99 years

UPDATED: June 30 at 9 p.m.

The Keokuk Power Plant opened its doors Saturday for the first time in 24 years.

Visitors got a look inside the power plant and a tour of the lock to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the plant's opening.

The tours and displays set up for the public were also meant to preview a bigger celebration planned for next year to celebrate 100 years.

"We've been working for two or three years now with both Hamilton, Keokuk and surrounding areas on committees getting ready for 100th anniversary and part of the planning for that is we decided to do this introductory 99th anniversary celebration to get people interested and excited and thinking about the 100th anniversary next year," Hydro Operations Manager Warren Witt said.

Power plant representatives say the 100th anniversary celebration will feature full blown power plant tours and trolley rides across the dam.


Have you ever wondered how your electricity is generated, before it makes it to your house?

Keokuk Energy Center's run-of-river power plant harvests the natural energy of falling water from the river to generate electricity, producing clean and renewable energy.

"The pond and the tailwater here is about at a 35 foot differential, so that's your potential energy and the water runs down through the units and falls at 35 feet. Each one of our units is turning at about 62 RMPs and it passes about 30,000 gallons a second," Plant Superintendent Larry Weiman explained.

This weekend, June 30th and July 1st, the public will get a chance to tour the hydroelectric power plant in Keokuk, Iowa.

"It was built between 1910 and 1913. It was quite a feat at the time. For three year construction of a plant this size...we probably couldn't get permits in that time nowadays," Weiman said.

When the energy center was built it was far ahead of its time, breaking several records including highest transmission line, longest line and largest transformers.

"They've done a spectacular job building the plant there's very few areas that you could look at and say oh they made a mistake here or this doesn't look like they way it should be. The guys were very good craftsmen and it's a very well build plant," Weiman said.

The walking tour will take visitors across the lock and into the actual power plant where displays will offer more on the plant's history.

The open house will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.