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Report - - Conners Creek Power Station, Detroit April 2019 | European and International Sites |

Report - Conners Creek Power Station, Detroit April 2019

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grumpy sod
Regular User
Firstly I'm going to preface this by saying this particular explore was the sketchiest thing I have ever done, and one of the more stressful experiences of my life. Because of how on edge the place was, I didn't feel comfortable getting out all my gear and rather than take shit handheld wide angle photos I decided instead to take as many as I could on my Huawei, which as any fule nos have fantastic cameras for phones.

Conners Creek Power Station sits on the bank of the Detroit River just before the start of Lake St. Clair, with the river and the lake forming the natural border between Canada and the USA. It was opened in 1951 as a coal plant, and converted in 1999 to run on natural gas and oil with a total power capacity of 276 MW. It was shutdown in 2008 and placed on cold standby, and looks set to be demolished later this year if news articles are to be believed.

Earlier in the day we had attempted another power plant in the city however the security measures put in place were fearsome. It's the first time I've ever seen an active network of vibration/damage sensors on a fence, needless to say after spotting that we beat a hasty retreat. To be honest it doesn't really surprise me that the energy companies want to take serious measures to protect their infrastructure in Detroit of all places. Luckily actually getting into the site itself at Conners Creek was a lot simpler but still required walking right past a very active water pumping station in full view of the workers. On getting into the site we quickly realised there were numerous vehicles parked around the front of the power station buildings and a set of huge generators rumbling away to one side, with their feeds going straight into the plant. My friend, who has explored a huge amount of power stations over there, quickly realised his assumption that it'd be 'quick and easy with nobody there' turned out to be a bit wrong! Now being caught at a power station is pretty serious business in the USA, it being what it is instead of a regular trespassing charge that usually results in a fine you are instead faced with a felony charge which means guaranteed jail time. For my American friends that is a bad enough day but for me, it means I can be deported from the States and banned from coming back for a period of years. One things for sure, I was not intending on being caught in here of all places.

Anyway after a quick bit of route plotting hiding behind a spoil pile we made our way in and quickly and quietly headed upstairs through the myriad of industrial goodness that forms the lower parts of power stations. On reaching the turbine hall I was, briefly, stunned as the two turbines are absolute monsters crammed into what is a very small box-like turbine hall not like the spacious spread out beasts that are found elsewhere. We then realised the office to our immediate left had two ashtrays full of butts and a bag full of fresh snacks in it.

'Fuck' I heard my friend say. 'Lets make this quick and get out'.

About ten minutes later we began to hear noises down in the lower levels where there were none before. Generators powering up, water and fans being run, and vague shuffling sounds. After another ten minutes or so of silent shooting and whispered voices telling each of us to hurry up, we packed up and left the way we came. We took a little detour on the way out to the control room but somewhat ironically it was the only room that didn't have power being fed to it.

When we eventually made it off the property my friend, a seasoned power plant explorer who has many of them under his belt turned to me and said that was one of the sketchiest he's ever done, and for him to say that is quite an admission. He then followed it up with 'and I don't think anyone else would be stupid enough to try it either'!

Overall, I love power stations like this but I hate that I can't relax in them. I have mad respect for those of you who crack new ones on the regular and I love the accompanying stories as they are normally pretty darn good!

I apologise for the quality of the photos, after we packed up and left the turbine hall I tried to grab as many as I could on the way out just to show some more of the place.


I hope you enjoyed reading this, normal derp service from me will be resumed soon.​


grumpy sod
Regular User
Great read, exciting stuff!

Yes to more Huawei reports too. Do you shoot RAW with it?

Honestly I've never actually experimented with the manual modes and other options on it too much. I usually just snap the odd photo here and there on my phone whilst exploring to compliment my DSLR stuff. I never usually intend to document a whole site on a phone but here I felt the results would be better - and if the worst did end up happening I could simply leg it without having to worry about my gear :p

@Camera Shy the thoughts of that happening were ever present in my mind lol!


grumpy sod
Regular User
Cheers all. Certainly was an experience that's for sure.

I got to another power station later in the trip that was more my speed having been closed a lot longer and so was a lot more derelict and relaxed, I'll have that up at some point too.