Cliffside Steam Station
Standing at the map display while looking southeast you will see a very tall smoke stack in the distance. This is Duke Energy's Cliffside Steam Station facility. This station and its village added to the population of Cliffside's schools and churches. Many from the Duke village contributed to local organizations and community life. At the confluence of the Second Broad and the main Broad River, plans were finalized in 1938 by the Duke Power Company to build its first new power coal steam plant since the Depression. When completed, this plant would encompass the latest technology in steam-driven electrical production. The plant site is located on the boundaries of both Rutherford and Cleveland counties. Land clearing construction began in late 1938, and the company simultaneously began construction of a seven-mile railroad from the plant site to link with the CC&O Railroad near Harris, North Carolina. Plans also included a residential village of 40-50 houses for the future operators and their families. All construction, including the village, was completed in 1940, and when brought on line the capacity of the plant was 80,000 kilowatts. After World War II, the other plants, numbers 3, 4, and 5, were completed in 1948, and the combined capacity of the total facility was 130,000 kilowatts. During the 1960s the residential village was discontinued, and in 1968 another production facility was added, increasing its capacity to 560,000 kilowatts. In 2012, the latest addition was built and the original first four units were closed. The current electrical production capacity of the Cliffside Steam Station is 1,385 megawatts.