Hydroelectric Plants in the USA - North Carolina
Apalachia
Location: NC
Operator: Tennessee Valley Authority
Configuration: 1 X 52 MW, 1 X 41 MW Francis
Operation: 1943
T/G supplier: BLH, WH
Quick facts: Apalachia Dam is 150ft high and stretches 1,308ft across the Hiwassee River. A pipeline and tunnel system runs 8.3mi downriver to the powerhouse.

Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority
Posted 30 Dec 2004

Bridgewater
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 10 MW Francis (ret)
Operation: 1919
T/G supplier: IPM, AC
Quick facts: Bridgewater is on Lake James below Linville Dam and began commercial operation on 4 May 1919. Lake James, named after J. B. “Buck” Duke, spans McDowell and Burke counties and is formed by damming three streams, Catawba River, Paddy Creek, and the Linville River. Bridgewater was named for the Southern Railway depot to which the materials to build the dam and hydro station were shipped.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 13 Oct 2008

Bridgewater Rebuild
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 14 MW Francis
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: Voith
EPC: HDR, Devine Tarbell & Associates
Quick facts: To comply with FERC seismic guidelines, Duke is making improvements to the three dams that form Lake James, namely Catawba Dam, Linville Dam, and Paddy Creek Dam. This work required the relocation of Bridgewater hydro station, previously located at the toe of the Linville Dam. The new powerhouse is further downstream. After completion the old powerhouse will be removed. Photo taken in Aug 2010.

Photograph courtesy of Duke Energy
Posted 23 Jan 2011

Capitola Dam
Location: NC
Operator: French Broad Electric Membership Corporation
Configuration: 2 X 1.5 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1987
T/G supplier: Axel Johnson
EPC: Site Constructors Inc
Quick facts: This run-of-river dam on the French Broad River bypasses 1,000ft of natural channel upstream of Marshall.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 4 Oct 2008

Chatuge
Location: NC
Operator: Tennessee Valley Authority
Configuration: 1 X 10 MW
Operation: 1954
T/G supplier: Leffel, WH
Quick facts: Construction of Chatuge Dam on the Hiwassee began in 1941 and was completed in 1942 as a flood control project.  The single generating unit was added about 10 years later.

Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority
Posted 30 Dec 2004

Cheoah
Location: NC
Operator: Alcoa Power Generating Inc
Configuration: 4 X 20 MW, 1 X 30 MW Francis
Operation: 1919-1949
T/G supplier: AC
Quick facts: The Tapoco Division of Alcoa Power Generating Inc supplies electricity to Alcoa’s aluminum smelting and rolling mill located in Alcoa, Tennessee. The Cheoah Development is located in Graham and Swain counties on the Little Tennessee River and was the first of the Tapoco developments constructed. Cheoah Reservoir has a normal full pool area of 644ac. Water for Units 1-4 is withdrawn through an intake located in rock at the left abutment of the dam while the intake for Unit-5, built 30yrs after the first four sets, has a separate intake in a converted spillway gate opening at the left end of the spill section.

Photograph by photomaven (flickr)
Posted 19 Aug 2006

Cowans Ford
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 4 X 87.5 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1963-1967
T/G supplier: AC, WH
Quick facts: This is Duke Energy's largest conventional hydroelectric plant. Cowans Ford Dam on the Catawba River created Lake Norman, the largest man-made reservoir in North Carolina with a surface area of about 32,500ac. It is named for former Duke Power president Norman Cocke. Ground- breaking for the dam was on 28 Sep 1959 and the dam was dedicated on 29 Sep 1964. It is 7,387ft long, of which 1,279ft is concrete with the remainder earthfill, and reaches 130ft high. Lake Norman is a major watersports recreation destination and also supplies cooling water for Duke Marshall coal-fired plant and McGuire nuclear station.

Photograph courtesy of Duke Power
Re-posted 31 Oct 2010

Fontana
Location: NC
Operator: Tennessee Valley Authority
Configuration: 3 X 80 MW Francis
Operation: 1944-1953
T/G supplier: AC, WH
Quick facts: At 480ft, Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River is the highest east of the Rockies.  The Appalachian Trail runs across the dam crest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park borders Fontana Reservoir on the north side.

Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority
Posted 31 Dec 2004

Franklin
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 520 kW propeller
Operation: 1925
T/G supplier: Leffel, Westinghouse
Quick facts: The Franklin Project is in Macon County on the Little Tennessee River The Town of Franklin built the hydro project and sold it to Nantahala Power & Light in 1933. Duke acquired the facility when it purchased NP&L from Alcoa in 1988. About half of the174ac reservoir is in Franklin on the Little Tennessee River.. Project components include a 36ft high, 460ft long concrete gravity dam, a powerhouse and related electric power production components and facilities.

Photograph courtesy of Duke Power
Posted 16 Sep 2012

High Falls
Location: NC
Operator: Hydrodyne Industries LLC
Configuration: 3 X 200 kW
Operation: 1981
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This plant was built by Cook Industries Inc at an abandoned cotton mill near Coleridge on the Deep River using three motors scavenged from old textile mills and converted to generators. The High Falls plant sells power to Progress Carolina.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 4 Oct 2008

Hiwassaee
Location: NC
Operator: Tennessee Valley Authority
Configuration: 1 X 71 MW Francis, 1 X 60 MW CVP
Operation: 1940-1956
T/G supplier: AC, NN, WH
Quick facts: The reversible centrifugal volute pump-turbine at Hiwassee Unit-2 is an ASME National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. This integration of pump and turbine was the first of many pumped-storage sets  to be installed in the USA  and was the largest and most powerful in the world. The machine was designed by TVA and the Allis-Chalmers Co and built by AC.

Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority
Posted 7 Jan 2005

Lake Lure
Location: NC
Operator: Town of Lake Lure
Configuration: 1 X 1.2 MW, 1 X 2.4 MW
Operation: 1928
T/G supplier: ??
EPC: Mees & Mees
Quick facts: In 1925, construction began on this 585ft long, 105ft high dam at the bottom of Hickory Nut Gorge on the Broad River in Rutherford County. Later that year, the town of Lake Lure was incorporated. Carolina Mountain Power Co financed construction of the dam through a $550,000 first mortgage with Stroud & Co of Philadelphia. The power plant began operations with a 10yr power sales contract to Blue Ridge Power Co, a predecessor of Duke Power, delivered via transmission lines to Turner’s Dam. The facilities were repossessed by Stroud & Co at the beginning of the Great Depression. The residents of Lake Lure bought the plant, dam, and lake in 1965 and turned the area into a tourist center. The generators continue to operate to maintain proper elevation of the lake and electricity is sold to Duke Power.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 4 Oct 2008

Lookout Shoals
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 3 X 6.2 MW Francis
Operation: 1915
T/G supplier: AC
Quick facts: The Lookout Shoals and powerhouse In Iredell Co were completely covered with water during the Great Flood of 1916. From July 8-10, 1916, remnants of a large hurricane moving northwest from the Gulf of Mexico passed directly along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains causing substantial flooding in the Catawba River basin. On July 13, another large hurricane came onshore came ashore north of Charleston, SC, and was steered by a stationary high-pressure system towards the Catawba Valley. Here, another high-pressure airmass stalled the system and the heaviest rains ever recorded in the valley fell from July 14-16 including 22in on 17 Jul, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the USA on a single day to that date and a record that stood for years. The result was floods on the Catawba nearly 50ft above flood level and massive infrastructure damage throughout the region.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 13 Oct 2008

Marshall Dam
Location: NC
Operator: Progress Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 2.5 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1984-1985
T/G supplier: Voest
EPC: Mees & Mees
Quick facts: Marshall Dam is on the French Broad River in Madison Co.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 5 Oct 2008

Mountain Island
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 4 X 15 MW Francis
Operation: 1923
T/G supplier: SMS, AC
Quick facts: The Mountain Island project is in Gaston Co. Mountain Island Lake also provides cooling water for the Riverben coal-fired power station and drinking water for three nearby urban areas.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 13 Oct 2008

Oxford
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 18 MW Francis
Operation: 1928
T/G supplier: NN, WH
Quick facts: The Oxford dam forms Lake Hickory named after the nearby city. The dam is 122ft high and 1,200ft long.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 13 Oct 2008

Rhodiss
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 3 X 8.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1925
T/G supplier: SMS, WH
Quick facts: The Rhodiss dam in Caldwell Co is 65ft high and 1,500ft long. Lake Rhodiss provides water for four nearby cities.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 13 Oct 2008

Turner Shoals
Location: NC
Operator: Northbrook Power Management LLC
Configuration: 2 X 2.5 MW
Operation: 1925
T/G supplier: Voest
Quick facts: Turner Shoals was built by Blue Ridge Power Co on the Green River in Polk Co. Blue Ridge Power was bought by Duke Power in 1927. The electromechanical equipment was rebuilt in 1984/85. In Jun 2008, Polk County agreed to purchase 420ac Lake Adger, the dam, and the power plant. Northbrook will continue to operate the plant.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 5 Oct 2008

   

Tuxedo
Location: NC
Operator: Duke Energy Carolinas
Configuration: 2 X 3.2 MW
Operation: 1920
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This photo shows the penstock and surge tank. The wood stave penstock and turbine runners were replaced in 1993. Turner Shoals is on the Green River in Henderson Co. The project includes a 130ft high, 245ft long single-arch concrete dam.

Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Dept of Environment & Natural Resources
Posted 5 Oct 2008

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 21-Dec-2015

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