Jan 16

Lexington Provides Power for Civilians Ashore, 16 January 1930

Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:01 AM


On 16 January 1930 the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV 2) completed thirty days of providing electrical power to the city of Tacoma, Washington, during a city-wide power shortage caused by drought at the area’s hydroelectric generation facilities. Like some other capital ships of that era, Lexington’s turbines produced electricity to operate the shaft motors, but didn’t turn the shafts themselves as on most steam-driven ships then and now. The ship therefore had great electrical generation capacity that made her ideal for this task. Lexington provided power twelve hours a day between 17 December 1929 and 16 January 1930, ultimately totaling more than 4.25 million kilowatt hours.

  • I posted a copy of Lexington’s report for this, including photos, to my site at http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/CV2/Tacoma/CV2_rep1.html

  • Jim Valle

    In the era between the wars the United States Navy favored turbo-electric capital ships because this type of powerplant greatly extended the ship’s range for Pacific operations. It was part of our preparations to impliment Plan Orange in the event of war with Japan.

  • LCDR H.M.Rose USNR

    I found a reference of this event in one of the USNI Proceedings, sent a copy with comment to our local newspaper’s editor, whom did not reply. My comments suggested that we locate one of our oldest nuclear subs 8 or 10 miles offshore, submerge it and pull a high voltage wire from it to the shore and connect it to the onshore grid – all as a test of whether or not this would work. If it works, think of the progress we might make in power generation.
    1. No NIMBY.
    2. Almost infinite cooling capacity.
    3. Blue and Gold crews changing every two weeks.
    4. Repairs needed = just disconnect and be towed or use small
    motors to the nearest drydock.Have one boat in dock and one on station.
    Any Navy nuke can fill in all the details, which will be many.But none of which would be costly enough to cancel the whole thing.