Belt City Light and Power Company, 1893 - 1905This interpretative panel was developed using funds from the 2014 - 2016 South Dakota Department of Transportation US Highway 85 reconstruction project.
In 1893, the Belt Light and Power Company of Lead built a 30 x 92 foot brick and stone power station in this vicinity. The plant boasted a Brush Alternating System consisting of two 1500 kW vertical steam engines and two 500 kW motor generator sets. The electricity generated through this system provided power to the City of Lead and the electric inter-urban trolleys that ran between Deadwood and Lead.
Consolidated Power and Light Company, 1905 - 1941
In 1905, the Belt Light and Power Company of Lead and Black Hills Electric Light Company of Deadwood were merged under the new Consolidated Power and Light Company of South Dakota. The Belt City power plant was expanded and equipped with four steam turbines that provided electrical power from Pluma to Deadwood, Lead, Terry, Central City and Maitland along with numerous mines and mills in the northern mining district. The diagram and historic photographs on this panel provide a glimpse of the interior and external workings of this power plant.
Electricity through Steam
1. Firebox and Boiler:
Water inside the boiler is heated under pressure creating steam.
2. Steam Turbine and Electrical Generator:
The heated steam leaves the boiler and enters into the steam turbine, where it spins the turbine blades. The electrical generator is attached to the steam turbine by a rotating shaft that spin together creating electricity.
Once the steam passes through the turbine, it exits on the backside where it is cooled and condensed back into water. Excess heat from this process was piped and sprayed in a holding pond beside Whitewood Creek.