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The massive power production of Niagara Falls

Road Trip 2010: CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman visits Niagara Falls. While he doesn't get a chance to see the massive Niagara Power Project, he does think it's worth an explanation.

The powerful waters of the Niagara River fuel Niagara Falls, as well as the nearby Niagara Power Project, one of the largest hydropower facilities in the world. Daniel Terdiman/CNET via Raytheon

NIAGARA FALLS, Canada--At one time, it was the largest producer of hydroelectric power on the planet. That was in 1961. Today, it is still New York State's preeminent hydropower facility, and it shares some of the glory of one of the most awesome spectacles in the world.

This is, of course, the Niagara Power Project, a hydropower producer capable of lighting 24 million 100-watt bulbs at once--2.4 million kilowatts. A ways downriver from the world famous Niagara Falls--Horseshoe Falls and American Falls--this giant project is still worth celebrating today, especially in light of the fact that people are so interested in renewable energy these days.

Click here for a full photo gallery from Niagara Falls, and of the Niagara Power Project

As part of Road Trip 2010, I managed to swing through Niagara Falls for about 12 hours--not enough, unfortunately, to visit the power project, but easily enough to take in the majesty of the falls themselves. I'd been once before, but this time, having the benefit of the view from the falls-facing 14th floor of my hotel, I got a better, and more relaxed view.

And I came away even more impressed with what I'd seen than before.

For one more week, Geek Gestalt will be on Road Trip 2010. After driving more than 18,000 miles in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast over the last four years, I'll be looking for the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation and more throughout the American northeast. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. In the meantime, you can follow my progress on Twitter @GreeterDan and @RoadTrip and find the project on Facebook. And you can also test your knowledge of the U.S. and try to win a prize in the Road Trip Picture of the Day challenge.