Posted by: arbeam | December 17, 2018

An Aircraft Carrier Powers a City


Did you know that an aircraft carrier can provide the electricity to power a city? One helped out the city of Tacoma, Washington in this way starting on December 17, 1929.

That winter, a drought struck the city’s hydroelectric dams. There wasn’t enough water flowing to provide electricity. Tacoma appealed to President Herbert Hoover for help.

USS Lexington (CV 2) was at the Puget Sound Navy Yard being overhauled. Lexington was the second US Navy Aircraft Carrier and had a Turbo-Electric Propulsion system. She used Steam Turbines to generate power for her electric  engines. The carrier was soon sent out to Tacoma’s Baker Dock, where she remained from December 17, 1929 to January 16, 1930. Her boilers provided the city with more than 4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, buying them time as melting snow and rain refilled Tacoma’s reservoirs.

USS Lexington was heavily damaged and scuttled in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. She was the first Aircraft Carrier lost in WWII.

– Puget Sound Naval Museum

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