Gaston Hydro Station

Gaston Hydro StationGaston Hydro Station is located in the small town of Thelma, North Carolina on the Roanoke River. The station is integral with the Gaston Dam that backs up water from the river into a reservoir named Lake Gaston. When water is allowed to pass through the powerhouse, the station's four generators can produce up to 55 megawatts each, or a total capacity of 220 megawatts.

The 3,600-foot-long Gaston dam lies about eight miles upstream from Dominion's other station on the Roanoke River, the Roanoke Rapids Power Station.

Select a Topic to Learn More

About The Environment

A submerged weir or underwater dam at Lake Gaston directs surface water from the lakes into the station. The weir rises to within 15 feet of the surface to ensure that high quality water is discharged from the power stations to benefit the aquatic life and provide recreational opportunities and economic growth in the lower Roanoke River Basin.

Lake Gaston is 34 miles long with more than 20,000 acres of surface area and 350 miles of shoreline. In addition to the energy-related advantages of hydroelectric power, Lake Gaston provides facilities for swimming, fishing, boating and other water sports, as well as fish and wildlife preservation.

Dominion has been working to meet its customer's energy needs in an environmentally responsible manner for decades. We know that today's operations affect tomorrow's environment. As the major energy supplier in a uniquely beautiful and natural region, we have always worked to protect and enhance the economic and environmental quality of life for our customers and our employees.

As a part of our corporate commitment, read about Dominion's environmental efforts to protect the natural resources that surround us all, and to keep our operations safe for both our employees and the public.

Lake Environmental Data

As part of its long-term environmental and public service commitment, Dominion provides water level, flow and quality information from its Roanoke Rapids and Gaston hydroelectric stations. Posted information includes real-time monitoring of water temperature and dissolved oxygen content, and projected water flow from the Roanoke Rapids dam, and lake level information for Lake Gaston.

Recreation Resources

A wide variety of recreational resources are available on or near Lake Gaston and Roanoke Rapids Lake. Visit our Recreation Resources page for a listing of areas developed in accordance with Dominion North Carolina Power's FERC Hydropower license.

Brief Facts about the Station

Commercial Operation: 1963


  • Length: 3,600 feet
  • Maximum height: 105 feet
  • Crest gates- Type: Radial, Number: 11

Gaston Power Station River flows at dam site:

  • Average annual flow: 8,000 cu. ft per sec.
  • Maximum flow of record (8/18/1940): 261,000 cu. ft. per sec.
  • Minimum flow of record (12/16/1955): 250 cu. ft. per sec.
  • Turbine discharge capacity: 48,000 cu. ft. per sec.

Reservoir (Characteristics at 200 feet elevation at dam):

  • Length of reservoir: 34 miles
  • Length of shoreline: 350 miles
  • Maximum width: 1.3 miles
  • Storage: 450,000 acre-feet
  • Reservoir surface: 20,300 acres

Elevations (feet above mean sea level):

  • Top of dam: 217
  • Base of dam: 110
  • Top of spillway gates: 203
  • Normal full power pool: 200

Power house generating units:

  • One adjustable and three fixed-blade propeller type turbines: 70,000 horsepower, 67-feet head, 100 rpm
  • Four generators @ 55,000 kw each, 220 megawatts total generating capacity

Turbine generator manufacturer: Westinghouse

NYSE : (April 17, 2014) D 70.67 -0.86