Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Harvey’s Big Bang

Vicky McDonald @Harvey's Wagon Wheel Hotel and Casino at Lake Tahoe shortly after the bomb blew up, August 27, 1980. UPI photo
Way back in 1980 a guy tried to extort a fortune from Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino by planting a great big bomb inside the building. Damn Interesting has the story. The San Francisco Chronicle also has their version.

Map of places mentioned in the story. US Route 50 is the the yellow line running from the upper right to the lower left. It is the main road through this area. The Casinos are in the upper right, just across the state line, naturally. Ice House Road is the squiggly blue line on the left. The black line goes 15 miles west from the Tahoe airport, ending five miles short of Ice House Road. Placerville is just off the map to the left.
Sign at the start of US Route 50 in Sacramento, California. It's a long road.
John Birges built his bomb with dynamite stolen from the Helms Creek hydroelectric project.
The best part of this video is the animation of this plant's operation which starts just after the two minute mark. This power plant is built deep underground between two artificial lakes. Not only can it generate electric power by letting water flow downstream, but it can also pump water back upstream. If somebody is generating power that you don't need at the moment, like a wind farm in the middle of the night, you can use that electricity to pump water uphill. Later on, when the day heats up and people start turning on their air conditioners, you can let the water flow back down and generate power. It operates kind of like a big battery. It let's you cover peak demand without having to build more power plants. It was a big, expensive project. I suspect it was only made viable by the fortunate location of the two reservoirs.

Via Posthip Scott.

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