Hydroelectric

Hydroelectric power is the most clean, reliable, efficient and economical of all renewable energy sources. And thanks to the Tennessee River system, we have plenty of it in our region. It supports our mission of providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to the people and businesses of the Tennessee Valley.

TVA's hydroelectric system consists of:

  • 29 power-generating dams throughout the Tennessee River system, some of which date back to the TVA’s early days in the 1930s
  • A pumped-storage plant near Chattanooga called Raccoon Mountain
  • Purchased power from eight dams on the Cumberland River operated by the Army Corps of Engineers

These dams are located on the Tennessee Rivers system, which includes a number of feeder rivers, including the Holston, the Clinch, the Ocoee, the Little Tennessee, the Hiwassee, the Elk, the Duck, the Nolichucky, the Nottely, the Nantahala, the French Broad, the Pigeon, the Cheoah, the Powell and the Cumberland among others.

The hydroelectric dams and their reservoirs provide additional benefits to our region, including flood control, river navigation and popular recreational opportunities—all while minimizing effects on our environment. Learn more about how hydroelectric power works.

The pumped storage plant at Raccoon Mountain is a prime example of the recreation opportunities and minimal environmental impact of hydroelectric power. It produces 1,650 megawatts of power and yet the water and surrounding woods are tranquil enough to be designated a state wildlife observation area that’s home to whitetail deer, woodchucks, gray foxes, bald eagles and raccoons.

TVA's Dams + Reservoirs

Power-Producing Dams

Apalachia
Blue Ridge
Boone
Chatuge
Cherokee
Chickamauga
Douglas
Fontana
Fort Loudoun
Fort Patrick Henry
Great Falls
Guntersville
Hiwassee
Kentucky
Melton Hill
Nickajack
Norris
Nottely
Ocoee 1
Ocoee 2
Ocoee 3
Pickwick Landing
Raccoon Mountain
South Holston
Tims Ford
Watauga
Watts Bar
Wheeler
Wilbur
Wilson

Non-Power Dams
(for flood control and recreation)

Bear Creek
Beaver Creek
Beech
Cedar

Cedar Creek
Clear Creek
Dogwood
Little Bear Creek
Lost Creek
Nolichucky
Normandy
Pin Oak
Pine
Redbud
Sycamore
Tellico
Upper Bear Creek

The Unified Development of the Tennessee River plan stressed TVA was to provide flood control, navigation and electricity for the region. TVAs dams are tangible evidence of its primary mission: improving life in the Tennessee Valley. We’re celebrating the 80th anniversary of the plan with a yearlong look at 25 dams it inspired.