Lake Norman provides electricity to the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. It powers the generators at the hydroelectric station at Cowans Ford Dam, and is used by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives their turbines. The lake supplies water to Lincoln County, Catawba County, Iredell County, Mooresville, Charlotte, and other towns in Mecklenburg County, particularly Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville.
Duke Power partnered with the state of North Carolina to establish Lake Norman State Park. It has also built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. One site is leased to Mecklenburg County and one to Iredell County. Popular game fish in Lake Norman include catfish, crappie, bluegill and yellow perch, as well as striped, largemouth, white bass hybrids, fresh water gar, and breamlong with multiple types of turtles. Types of turtles you may see would be, the eastern box turtle, soft shell turtle, and the snapping turtle. Lake Norman does house a few snakes in and around the lake being the black rat snack and the Northern water snake, but both are not poisonous. On December 11, 2014, Duke Energy, to repair a rusted, leaking pipe, received approval from North Carolina to dump Coal Ash (containing arsenic, lead, thallium and mercury, among other heavy metals) from the Marshall Steam Station into Lake Norman. Groundwater at the Marshall Steam Station does flow toward Lake Norman, and the contaminated field abuts the lake for about 30 feet of shoreline near its largest coal ash basin. On October 3, 2015, Duke reported that a sinkhole had formed at the base of the Marshall Steam Station dam north of Charlotte on Lake Norman. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says Duke placed a liner in the hole and filled it with crushed stone.
Lake Norman is also the location for one of the International Jet Sport Boats Association (IJSBA) tour stops. Team Tweek, a race team headquartered in Mooresville, helps promote and coordinate the annual event.
Lake Norman – Peninsula Yacht Club
Lake Norman is also the location of Lake Norman Yacht Club which is the host of many South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) sailboat races throughout the year. Davidson College also owns and operates a “Lake Campus” for students on Lake Norman. Lake Norman is not only the location of the Yacht Club, but the Peninsula Club as well. The Peninsula Club has other facilities such as a pool, tennis courts, golf course(featuring many parts of the lake), workout facilities, and multiple restaurants.