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Obama makes visit to 2,078-MW Hoover Dam

President Barack Obama took a break from campaign preparation to stop Tuesday at the iconic Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam and its accompanying 2,078-MW hydroelectric plant have often been cited by Obama to illustrate the importance of government-funded public infrastructure, although the President says this was his first visit to the Bureau of Reclamation-owned facility.

"It's spectacular," Obama said.

Obama's entourage had been staying at a Nevada resort about a half hour from Hoover Dam, giving the President reason for the impromptu field trip.

"I'd never seen it before," Obama says. "I didn't realize it was so close by."

Sources say Obama was surprised to learn that most of the power produced at Hoover Dam -- located on the Colorado River on the Nevada/Arizona state line -- is sent to southern California and not nearby Las Vegas.

Obama's visit to Hoover wasn't his first to one of interest to the hydropower industry, however, as the Commander-in-Chief visited the Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation manufacturing plant in September 2008.

HydroWorld.com reported in July that Reclamation was seeking bids to supply four impulse turbine runners for Hoover.

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