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Hydroelectric Power

TVA hydroelectric facilities

Hydropower is America’s leading renewable energy resource. Of all the renewable power sources, it’s the most reliable, efficient and economical. TVA maintains 29 conventional hydroelectric dams throughout the Tennessee River system and one pumped-storage facility for the production of electricity. In addition, four Alcoa dams on the Little Tennessee River and eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Cumberland River contribute to the TVA power system.

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What is hydroelectric power?

Water is needed to run a hydroelectric generating unit. It’s held in a lake behind the dam, and the force of the water being released from the lake through the dam spins the blades of a turbine. The turbine is connected to the generator that produces electricity. After passing through the turbine, the water reenters the river on the downstream side of the dam.

diagram of hydro plant

What is a pumped-storage plant?

A pumped-storage plant uses two reservoirs, one located at a much higher elevation than the other. During periods of low demand for electricity, such as nights and weekends, energy is stored by reversing the turbines and pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir. The stored water can later be released to turn the turbines and generate electricity as it flows back into the lower reservoir.

Pumped-Storage Facility Diagram

TVA’s Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant


Generating Plants

Find information on all the plants in the TVA generating system via our interactive map.

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