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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 Updates

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The rotor is reinstalled into Barkley Unit 1 after its rehabilitation.Barkley Unit 1 Rewind nears completion

The rewind of Barkley Unit 1 is nearing completion after nearly one year of dedicated work by the district staff, NEC (contractor) and NEC’s subcontractors.  The rewind was necessary following a fire in December 2010 that damaged the rotor and coils.  An After Action Review and report determined that the best option for repair was to rewind the unit.  In August 2012 the rotor was lifted clear of the unit and work began in earnest.  The scope of work included replacement of stator coils, 23 rotor poles, cooling piping, inspection and repair of bearings as needed, and many other tasks.  In June 2013, the rotor was lifted back into place during reassembly of the unit.  Commissioning tests and start up are scheduled in early October.

District in process of updating its Hydropower Master Plan

In June 2013, the Nashville District began the task of revising the project list and rankings for the Hydropower Master Plan.  This effort is in addition to previous work to revise the administrative organization of the LRN Hydropower and Section 212 Program team. 

When completed, the Master Plan will explain how the district will administer the hydropower improvement program, and provide the listing of projects ranked by importance to the LRN mission of providing reliable economical energy to the power market.

The process outlined by David Mistakovich, chief of Hydropower, and Fred Ragan, acting Section 212 Program manager, will provide a deliberative look at the projects and rankings, solicit input from HDC, and allow review and comment by stakeholders such as the Program Review Committee.  Upon District approval of the final draft, the Program Coordination Committee will be asked to approve the updated Master Plan.  The Master Plan is scheduled to be sent to the PRC for review in late December 2013.

District requests proposals for Center Hill Power Plant Rehabilitation

Center Hill DamThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District recently announced a solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities web site for the hydroelectric turbine-generator rehabilitation of units 1, 2 and 3 of the Center Hill Dam Powerhouse.

The powerhouse is located in DeKalb County, Tennessee on the Caney Fork River, 26.6 miles above the confluence of where the river meets the Cumberland River.  The three identical turbine-generator units became operational between 1950 and 1951.  The expected lifespan for this equipment is between 30 and 40 years.  All of the turbine-generator equipment and most of the supporting peripheral equipment is original.  Center Hill is at the top of the Nashville District Rehabilitation List. 

The contractor will supply all labor, materials and supplies to disassemble, rehabilitate, and reassemble the three turbine-generator units.  The refurbished turbine will be required to have aeration capability.  Work will include but is not limited to replacement of runners, replacement of wicket gates, refurbishment of servomotors, replacing the generator stator windings, restacking the existing generator iron, installing vibration monitoring system, installing a high-pressure thrust  bearing oil lift system, and refurbishing the unit brake system.

The procurement is unrestricted full open competition.  The NAICS code is 237990.  Small business size standard is $33.5 million.  The response date for this solicitation is Nov. 18, 2013.

Ray Kendrick, the point of contact for the proposed procurement, can be reached at 615.736-7932 or by email at

Following receipt of proposals, a source selection board will convene to evaluate each proposal based upon factors defined in the solicitation.  The contract is expected to be awarded in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014.  The turbine-generator rehab project will take about 4.5 years to complete and is the first of nine power plants in the Nashville District to be rehabilitated.  

Hydropower News

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...