Smith Mountain Dam
|Smith Mountain Dam|
USGS image of the Smith Mountain Dam
|Location||Bedford / Pittsylvania counties, Virginia, USA|
|Construction cost||USD $103 million (hydro-power units)|
|Operator(s)||Appalachian Power (American Electric Power)|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Concrete arch|
|Impounds||Roanoke River, Blackwater River|
|Height||235 feet (71 m)|
|Length||816 feet (248 m)|
|Width (base)||30 feet (9 m)|
|Creates||Smith Mountain Lake|
|Total capacity||2.8 km3 (0.67 cu mi)|
|Surface area||32 sq mi (83 km2)|
|Turbines||2 x 70 MW
2 x 160 MW Francis-type
1 x 100 MW reversible Francis-type
|Installed capacity||560 MW|
Smith Mountain Dam is a concrete arch dam located on the Roanoke River in Virginia, creating Smith Mountain Lake. The dam was built by Appalachian Power (a division of American Electric Power) between 1960 and 1963 for the purposes of hydroelectricity via pumped-storage hydroelectricity. The dam created Smith Mountain Lake as its reservoir, where recreation and real estate have become popular.
In the late 1920s, Appalachian Power began purchasing land and planning for a hydroelectricity dam within the Smith Mountain Gorge that is split by the Roanoke River. After several delays and the completion of engineering studies, construction began in 1960. Construction on the smaller Leesville Dam also began downstream at this time as well. Concrete pouring began in 1961 and in 1962, the re-construction of roads and bridges that would be affected by the reservoir was complete.
Smith Mountain Dam houses five hydroelectric generators with a combined installed capacity of 560 MW. Smith Mountain Lake Dam utilizes pumped-storage hydroelectricity by which water that is released downstream can be pumped back into Smith Mountain Lake for re-use. The Leesville Dam regulates the Smith Mountain Lake's outflows and stores water to be pumped back into the Smith Mountain Lake for this purpose. Hydro-electricity is usually produced during high-demand times (day) and pumped back into the lake during low demand times (night). The Leesville Dam also produces hydro-electricity as well.
In December, 2009, The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Appalachian Power a new license to operate the hydro-electricity plant. The new 30-year license replaces the original 50-year license and also addresses recreational and environmental management.
- "Pumped-Storage Plants in the USA". IndustCards. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia
- Smith Mountain Lake: How it Works
- Kindwall, Eric P. "A short history of diving and diving medicine.". In: Bove, Alfred A; Davis, Jefferson C. Diving Medicine. 2nd edition. WB Saunders Company.: 7. ISBN 0-7216-2934-2.
- Appalachian power gets 30-year license for project
- Smith Mountain Project at American Electric Power
- Smith Mountain Lake Website
- AEM - Smith Mountain Lake Reservoir Levels