US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Barkley Dam

Barkley Dam is a concrete gravity and earthfill structure that measures 10,180 ft.  The powerplant section of the dam contains four generating units capable of producing 130,000 kilowatts.  The spillway section contains 12 tainter gates with a maximum discharge capacity of 520,000 cubic feet per second.

Hydropower

The Barkley Power Plant started operation in early 1966 when the first of its four units were placed on line.  Each of Barkley’s four generators is capable of producing 32,500-kilowatt hours.  In a typical year, Barkley Power Plant is capable of producing enough electricity to power over 30,000 homes. 

Since being placed in service the four-hydropower units have performed far above industry average with an availability rate of 96.9%.  The high availability rate is a testimonial to the excellent maintenance and inspection programs followed by Power Plant personnel.