Memorandum calls for $1.2 billion in hydropower plant repairs in Corps' Nashville District

Nashville District Map

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed a memorandum agreement with the Southeastern Power Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, Inc., to perform a variety of work at Corps hydropower projects.

The agreement will provide power preference customer funds for the "rehabilitation, non-routine maintenance and modernization" of hydroelectric plants within the Corps' Nashville District. In total, SEPA said it will direct more than $1.2 billion into the effort over the next 20 years.

"Our nation has many competing interests for the limited financial resources available," Nashville District hydropower rehabilitation program manager Jamie James said. "In a time of flat -- or declining -- budgets, scores of funding to provide critical hydropower to the region are important and the funding available through this memorandum allows the Corps to execute rehabilitation work at our nine hydroelectric generation plants at a faster rate than might otherwise be possible if relying solely on appropriations."

The Nashville District's hydropower projects are part of the Cumberland River system, which stretches across Tennessee and Kentucky, and includes nine plants that contain a total of 28 generating units. The powerhouses are:

  • Barkley, on the Cumberland River about 22 miles southeast of Paducah, Ky., contains four 32.5-MW units with a total rated “overload” capacity of 149.5 MW. The units became operational in 1966.
  • Center Hill, on the Caney Fork River in Dekalb County, Tenn., 55 miles east of Nashville, contains three 45-MW generating units with a total rated overload capacity of 155 MW. The units became operational in 1950 and 1951.
  • Cheatham, on the Cumberland River about 15 miles southeast of Clarksville, Tenn., contains three 12-MW units with a total rated overload capacity of 41.4 MW. The units became operational between 1958 and 1960.
  • Cordell Hull, on the Cumberland River about 48 miles east of Nashville, contains three 33.333-MW units with a total rated overload capacity of 115 MW. The units became operational in 1973 and 1974.
  • Dale Hollow, on the Obey River in Clay County, Tenn., contains three 18-MW units with a total rated overload capacity of 62.1 MW. The units became operable in 1948, 1949 and 1953.
  • J. Percy Priest, on the Stones River about 10 miles east of Nashville, contains one 28-MW unit with a rated overload capacity of 32.2 MW. The unit became operational in 1970.
  • Laurel, on the Laurel River in Laurel and Whitley Counties, Ky., has one 61-MW unit with a rated overload capacity of 70.15 MW. The unit became operational in 1977.
  • Old Hickory, on the Cumberland River about 14 miles southwest of Gallatin, Tenn., contains four 25-MW units with a rated overload capacity of 115 MW. The units became operational in 1957.
  • Wolf Creek, on the Cumberland River about 10 miles south of Jamestown, Ky., contains six 45-MW units with a total rated overload capacity of 310 MW. The units became operational in 1951 and 1952.
The average age of the system's infrastructure is 58 years, James said, with an average designed service life of 35 years.
 
The Corps received $45 million from SEPA in 2011 for a similar initiative
 
For more rehabilitation and upgrade news, visit here.

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