TVA Invites Community to Celebrate 100 Years of Ocoee No. 1 Dam and Power Plant
September 16, 2011
BENTON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is inviting the public to help celebrate a century of hydroelectric production at the Ocoee Dam No. 1 on Saturday, Sept. 24.
TVA will host a free, family friendly community day from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. EDT in the park adjacent to the 100-year-old Ocoee Dam No. 1, off U.S. Highway 64 near Benton. The event will begin with a short ceremony, followed by food, music and public tours of the power plant. Ocoee and TVA informational displays will be featured. And the winners of an art and essay contest for local students about their favorite Ocoee experiences will be announced.
One of the first hydropower projects in the Tennessee Valley, Ocoee Dam No. 1 was completed in 1911 by the East Tennessee Power Company. TVA acquired it and Ocoee Dam No. 2 in 1939, and then built Ocoee Dam No. 3 in 1942 during World War II. In 1990, Ocoee Dam No. 1 received a major modernization. A section of river below Ocoee Dam No. 3 was the whitewater venue for the 1996 Olympics.
"Ocoee Dam No. 1 pre-dates the formation of TVA, and 100 years after it went into operation, it is still producing clean, low-cost hydropower for the region," said John McCormick, senior vice president of TVA River Operations. "This dam changed the standard of living, the economy and the recreational opportunities in this area as it shaped the Ocoee River. The Ocoees are both a natural wonder and a playground for families and outdoor enthusiasts."
The Ocoee No. 1 Powerhouse has five generating units that can produce 24 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 14,000 typical homes in the region. The dam is 135 feet high and 840 feet long. It provides flood storage capacity of 19,000 acre-feet in Parksville Reservoir, which has 109 miles of shoreline with numerous public recreation amenities.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Travis Brickey, Knoxville, (865) 632-6263
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000