North of the parks reigns the immense Niagara Power Project (5777 Lewiston Rd., 716/285-3211, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, free admission), one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the world. During the tourist season, about half of the Niagara River’s water power (or 100,000 of 202,000 cubic feet) is diverted away from the falls for the production of electricity here and in Canada; at other times, that ratio rises to 75 percent.
The plant’s visitors center does an excellent job explaining the principles of hydroelectric power through hands-on exhibits and computer games. Also on site are exhibits on Niagara Falls , past and present. Ascend to the observation deck for outstanding views of the Niagara Gorge.