TVA Making Dam Safety Checks at Raccoon Mountain

The reservoir at the top of the mountain contains approximately 107 billion gallons of water covering 528 acres of water surface, and the dam holding back that upper reservoir is 230 feet high and 8,500 feet long.

The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to begin making routine dam safety checks at its Raccoon Mountain reservoir beginning Sept. 19, causing some restricted access for visitors to the reservoir until the project is completed on Oct. 7. Dam safety checks are part of the utility's commitment to ensure all of its dams and earthen embankments continue to perform safely and reliably, according to TVA.

The Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant is a hydroelectric facility, TVA's largest, with four generating units and a net capacity of 1,652 megawatts. Water is pumped from Nickajack Reservoir at the base of the mountain to the reservoir on top of the mountain, then released through a tunnel drilled through the center of the mountain to drive generators in the underground power plant in order to generate electricity when additional power is needed by the TVA system; the reservoir is in southeast Tennessee on a site overlooking the Tennessee River near Chattanooga.

According to TVA's online data, the reservoir at the top of the mountain contains approximately 107 billion gallons of water covering 528 acres of water surface, and the dam holding back that upper reservoir is 230 feet high and 8,500 feet long. It is the largest rockfill dam ever built by TVA.

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