TVA begins South Holston Dam upgrade project


SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The South Holston Dam, which spans the South Fork Holston River is one of TVA’s top plants in terms of value.

The rock-and-fill dam’s generating unit, rated at 49 megawatts, has degraded over the years, and now produces only 42 megawatts—a significant decline in power production.

The powerhouse went into operation in 1951. TVA said that 65 years of use has reduced efficiency of the generator and that modernizing the plant is a great investment.

Lead Construction Manager Frank Barber said, “We are re-modernizing a TVA asset that has been generating for 65 years. We are going to modernize it so we can serve the local Tri-Cities area and his customers for the next 65 years.”

TVA is executing a plan to restore the unit by upgrading the powerhouse controls and power equipment.

TVA said hydro-generation is one of the cleanest and most economic ways they can generate energy to the power grid.

Before any work on the unit can happen, there will be a period of “pre-outage” activities at the site. A warehouse will be built on site to store parts and equipment needed for the project.

While the work is happening TVA has temporarily closed South Holston Dam Road for approximately one year. Holston View Dam Road and access to the top of the dam, overlooks, picnic areas and weir dam will not be impacted.

Customer rates will not be affected by the generators downtime during the re-modernizing.

Work is expected to me completed by spring of next year.Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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