Hot Info

Oct. 8, 2014

Aug. 16, 2012


Old Hickory Power Plant Unit Cross Section The Nashville District Hydropower Program began under the Flood Control Act of 1938, which authorized minimum provisions for hydropower at flood control projects.  The first power plant constructed in the Cumberland River Basin was Dale Hollow, with the first unit coming online in 1948.  Over the next thirty years eight other power plants were constructed, ending with Laurel which was completed in 1977.  In all, the Nashville District operates and maintains ten dam projects in the Cumberland River Basin, nine of which are multi-purpose projects with hydroelectric power plants, and remotely monitors (with the ability to operate) one power plant at the Sault Ste. Marie project in Michigan.  The nine power plants in the Cumberland River Basin have a total of 28 generating units with a current aggregate generating capacity of more than 927 megawatts (MW).  The Nashville District provides management, operation and maintenance of all electrical, mechanical, and structural features at these projects, including the power plants, dams, spillways and high voltage switchyards.

The Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA) markets the power from these plants through negotiated power sales and operating agreements with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and regional utility companies.  The power produced at these projects is delivered to 25 preference entities that serve 209 preference customers in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

On average, the Nashville District power plants produce over 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year.  Based on an average annual household consumption of 10,715 kWh as provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, that is enough energy to support 304,000 homes annually.


Hydropower News

Wolf Creek Dam provides enormous flood risk management benefits
JAMESTOWN, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2023) – When the Cumberland River Basin in southeastern Kentucky experiences storms and waters rise, Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River provides enormous flood risk...
Barkley Powerplant transforms its switchyard
KUTTAWA, Ky. (May 20, 2021) – The Barkley Powerplant is transforming its switchyard with the delivery of two 90-ton transformers Wednesday via a barge on the Cumberland River...
Senior electrical engineer honored as ‘Modern-Day Technology Leader’
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 19, 2020) – Officials honored a senior electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District as a “Modern-Day Technology Leader” during the 34th Black...
Division commander receives Nashville District overview
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 4, 2019) – The commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division visited the Nashville District this week for a district overview and...
Marine Transportation and Research Board of the National Academies tours Kentucky Lock
GRAND RIVERS, Ky., Tenn. (May 16, 2019) – Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander welcomed The Marine Board members from the Transportation Research Board of...
Concrete placement rolling along at Center Hill’s auxiliary saddle dam
LANCASTER, Tenn. (April 18, 2019) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently began placing “roller-compacted concrete” to build a reinforcing berm downstream of Center Hill’s auxiliary dam. This...
Wolf Creek Power Plant staff accomplishes rare uplifting repair action
JAMESTOWN, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2019) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Wolf Creek Dam Power Plant staff recently accomplished an extremely rare uplifting repair action to fix one of the...
Power team recognized as Army safety guardians
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2018) – The U.S. Army recognized team members from the Wolf Creek Dam Power Plant as Army safety guardians today at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District...
Corps employees get current on hydropower acquisition
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 22, 2018) – Corps employees from across the country met in Music City this week to get current on hydropower acquisition...
Kremer builds strong understanding of Nashville District construction projects
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 8, 2017) – The acting commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division received briefings and updates at Nashville District construction sites...
Marcum named Nashville District Employee of the Month for September 2017
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 21, 2017) – Joshua Marcum, Power Plant Mechanic at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Cheatham Power Plant in Ashland City, Tenn., is the employee of the...
Crew installs 249-ton hydropower rotor at Center Hill Dam
LANCASTER, Tenn. (June 19, 2017) – A work crew installed a 249-ton hydropower rotor today at Center Hill Dam, culminating weeks of safety preparations to lift and maneuver the heavy load into position...
STEM Students fascinated with Cheatham Lock and Dam
ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (June 15, 2017) – A team of engineering professionals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District welcomed a group of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math summer...
STEM students learn about engineering on dam tour
OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (May 18, 2017) – A team of engineering professionals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District recently welcomed area high school and college students for a Corps...
Hydropower experts generate information exchange in Music City
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 21, 2017) – More than 100 hydropower experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority, Southeastern Power Administration, and private power supply...
District geologists educate Mosul Dam engineers on GIS modeling
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 17, 2017) – Five engineers from the Ministry of Water Resources at the Mosul Dam project in Iraq and one engineer from Trevi S.p.A., the construction company working on the...
Nashville District employees tune into general on first visit to Music City
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2016) – Nashville District employees tuned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division commander today during the general’s first visit to Music...
Lt. Gov. visits Kentucky Lock Addition Project
GRAND RIVERS, Ky., Tenn. (Oct. 14, 2016) –The Kentucky lieutenant governor and 12 board members from the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority visited the Kentucky Lock Addition Project...
Trombly named Nashville District Employee of the Month for August 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 23, 2016) – Diana Trombly, an engineer in the Engineering Construction Division, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Employee of the Month for August 2016...
Nashville District commends graduates of the 2016 Leadership Development Program
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (Sept. 14, 2016) – Lt. Col Stephen F. Murphy, Nashville District commander, commended a group of 13 graduates of the 2016 Leadership Development Program class today at the Buca di...
Local teachers develop STEM curriculum through Corps externships
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 26, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is committed to supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in partnership with local...
Corps of Engineers, SEPA, TVA, and TVPPA sign memorandum of agreement
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 28, 2016) —The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District joined forces with the Southeastern Power Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Valley...
Jackson gets general overview of Nashville District construction projects
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 31, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deputy commanding general for Civil and Emergency Operations visited a Nashville District project for the first time to interact...
Bevis named Nashville District January 2016 employee of the month
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March. 4, 2015) – Ginia Bevis, administrative support assistant at the Tennessee River Area Office at Wilson Lock in Florence, Ala., is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville...
Coleman named Nashville District December 2015 Employee of the Month
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 29, 2015) – Paula Coleman, value engineering officer in the Engineering and Construction Branch, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District employee of the month for...
Hatchery Creek closed below Wolf Creek Dam for final phase of renovation
JAMESTOWN, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2015) -- Hatchery Creek, a short stream located behind the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, downstream of Wolf Creek Dam and Lake Cumberland in Russell County is currently...
Turbine lifted to rehabilitate hydropower unit at Center Hill Dam
LANCASTER, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2015) – Work crews lifted a turbine out of hydropower unit two at Center Hill Dam today, one of the final pieces of the disassembly process. It is the first time the 82-ton...
Hydropower Optimization Increases Energy Production at Corps Plants
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 18, 2015) - Aging hydroelectric generating units operated by the district at Dams in Kentucky and Tennessee have gone well beyond their typical design life of 35-40 years and...
Corps begins hydropower rehabilitation at Center Hill Dam
LANCASTER, Tenn. (Sept. 9, 2015) – Disassembly of hydropower unit two is about to get underway at Center Hill Dam, which is the first of 28 units in the Cumberland River Basin to be rehabilitated as a...
Employees overcome winter storms to keep river projects operating
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 12, 2015) – Snow and ice blanketed the Cumberland and Tennessee River basins twice over the past month, which severely hampered travel in rural areas. Despite winter’s effect...
Kaiser gets general overview of Nashville District construction projects
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2014) – The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division commander visited two Nashville District projects for the first time today to interact with project managers and engineers,...
Hydropower model tests generate positive results for Center Hill rehab project
YORK, Pa. (Oct. 10, 2014) – Corps experts witnessed a series of tests this week on a “small-scale” turbine model in a laboratory at Voith Hydro Inc. The tests were completely successful and the...
Electricians at Wolf Creek Power Plant complete fix on a differential
JAMESTOWN, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District employees from the Wolf Creek Power Plant and the Electronic Service Section have completed repairs to generator...
Nashville District celebrates its 125th Anniversary
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 15, 2013) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is celebrating 125 years of service to the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers Basins and to the Nation that began...
USACE-TVA 80-year partnership a definite plus for Cumberland, Tennessee Rivers Basin
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 17, 2013) -- Although creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority by Congressional Act on May 18, 1933 relieved the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of most of its role in developing...
Nashville District providing hydropower with aging equipment, rehabs underway
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 10, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District produces about $40 million annual revenue by converting water’s energy into 3.4 billion kilowatt hours of...
Dale Hollow Dam plugs into its own power source
CELINA, Tenn. (Feb. 26, 2013) – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District electricians at Dale Hollow Dam on the Obey River are plugging into the dam’s power source as part of a sustainability...
Barkley hydropower rehabilitation gets a 270-ton lift
KUTTAWA, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2012) – Work crews here at Barkley Power Plant removed a 270-ton rotor assembly today from a crippled hydropower unit damaged 18 months ago by an electrical fire. The heavy...
Corps awards $8.6 million contract for Barkley Dam Unit 1 Rewind Project
GRAND RIVERS, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2011) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District awarded an $8,698,348 contract Sept. 30 to National Electric Coil in Columbus, Ohio for the Barkley Dam Unit 1...
Corps of Engineers, SEPA and shareholders sign memorandum of agreement
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 4, 2011) —The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District joins forces with the Department of Energy, Southeastern Power Administration and their preference customers on...

Test Lab

  • Performs services to the hydropower community
  • Test power plant insulation systems in the generators, transformers, air circuit breakers, and oil circuit breakers in the districts nine power plants
  • Maintain the remote control equipment for four remote power plants and three master plants including the communication paths
  • Compile the revenue data from the nine plants daily and send the information to SEPA (South Eastern Power Administration)
  • Investigate all electrical faults, trouble shoot problems as needed
  • Provide some design work for equipment replacement items
  • Test protection relays for all plants and line relays
  • Made up of three engineers, four technicians, one coop and one field office assistant

Public Tours

Depending on construction, availability, and environmental factors, public tours of Nashville District facilities are available. Please contact the resource manager for the lake/dam to see if tours are offered. If tours are offered, please keep in mind the following guidelines: 

  • All facilities are ADA accessible.
  • Tour size is limited and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Only visitors with approval and confirmation will be permitted on the tour. No substitutions or additions are allowed.
  • All participants over 16 years of age must provide photo identification upon arrival for the tour.
  • Visitors may not carry packages, backpacks, or other containers during the tour.
  • Photographs and video recording of the interior of the power plant is strictly prohibited.
  • No high-heel, open heel shoes, including clogs and crocs or bare feet, will be allowed on a tour. Tennis shoes are recommended.
  • All children ages 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult during the tour.
  • Any increase in threat conditions can result in approved tours being cancelled with little notice. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

Privacy Act

Information is solicited in accordance with Title 10, US Code Section 552 and is used to provide information necessary in preparation for a scheduled tour of the facility and to verify positive identification of visitor. Solicited information is voluntary; however, failure to provide information may result in denied visitor access. The information provided to the Corps will not be retained digitally or by hard copy after the scheduled tour date.