Mountain Island Lake was created in 1924 to coincide with the building of Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station. It is named after the mountain which appears as an island in the lake. Mountain Island Lake is fed by the Catawba River, and is the smallest of the three man-made lakes that border Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (Lake Norman, and Lake Wylie). Mountain Island Lake is managed by Charlotte-based company Duke Energy. The primary function of Mountain Island Lake is to provide drinking water for residents of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, as well as Mount Holly and Gastonia,Gaston County. The lake is also accessible to the public for boating and fishing use.
Riverbend Steam Station is a 454 megawatt, coal-fired generating facility located in Gaston County, North Carolina. It was first built in 1929. The four-unit station is named for a bend in the Catawba River on which it is located. Riverbend is considered a cycling station and is brought on line to supplement supply when electricity demand is highest. Four gas-fired combustion turbine units are also housed on the site.