TVA's hydroelectric system comprises:
- 29 power-generating dams throughout the Tennessee River system, some of which date back to the TVA’s early days in the 1930s
- A pumped-storage plant near Chattanooga called Raccoon Mountain
- Purchased power from eight dams on the Cumberland River operated by the Army Corps of Engineers
These dams are located on the Tennessee Rivers system, which includes a number of feeder rivers, including the Holston, the Clinch, the Ocoee, the Little Tennessee, the Hiwassee, the Elk, the Duck, the Nolichucky, the Nottely, the Nantahala, the French Broad, the Pigeon, the Cheoah, the Powell and the Cumberland among others.
The hydroelectric dams and their reservoirs provide additional benefits to our region, including flood control, river navigation and popular recreational opportunities—all while minimizing effects on our environment. Learn more about how hydroelectric power works.
The pumped storage plant at Raccoon Mountain is a prime example of the recreation opportunities and minimal environmental impact of hydroelectric power. It produces 1,650 megawatts of power and yet the water and surrounding woods are tranquil enough to be designated a state wildlife observation area that’s home to whitetail deer, woodchucks, gray foxes, bald eagles and raccoons.
TVA’s Dams + Reservoirs
Fort Patrick Henry
(for flood control and recreation)
TVA Dam Safety
For TVA, dam safety is a leading priority 24/7/365. Read more about what we’re doing every day to continuously monitor and improve the 49 dams in the Tennessee River system, as well as what you can do to stay safe near dams.
The Unified Development of the Tennessee River plan
stressed TVA was to provide flood control, navigation and electricity for the region. TVA’s dams are tangible evidence of its primary mission: improving life in the Tennessee Valley. We’re celebrating the plan with an in-depth look at 32 of the dams it comprises.
Virtual Tours Inside Our Dams!
In celebration of their anniversaries, we visit three of our dams — including the tallest and the longest — going behind the scenes to see how they work and discovering the unexpected beauty deep within.
Take an inside look at TVA's longest dam—a muscular powerhouse that connects the Tennessee River to the National Inland Waterway.
TVA's tallest dam was built in a hurry to help power the industries that would help win WWII. Read and watch for more.
This southernmost dam in the TVA system is a hidden art deco gem. Take the virtual tour.