How the Osage Energy Center Works 
 
 
Bagnell Dam holds back water from the Osage River to create the Lake of the Ozarks. This stored water serves as “fuel” for the Osage Energy Center, located inside the dam.
  
When the plant is operating, water flows from the lake through a large pipe called a penstock, which carries the water to large water wheels called turbines. Each turbine is connected to a generator by a 30-inch diameter steel shaft. A generator is a device in which a type of magnet spins inside a stationary coil of wire. As the pressure of water flowing through the plant turns the turbine, the turbine turns the magnet inside the generator, producing electricity.
  
When excess water flows into the Lake of the Ozarks, such as during times of very heavy rainfall, the floodgates are used to pass this excess water downstream.
  

Source: Ameren Photo Archive

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