Hydro dams are an important part of Alabama Power‘s energy mix. The company said continued modernization efforts at the 14 dams across the state enhance their ability to power customers today and in the future.
Aug. 24 is National Hydropower Day, which provides utilities across the country a chance to recognize hydro’s important role in providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to customers.
Alabama Power’s hydro modernization program represents the most ambitious project connected to the company’s hydro fleet since dam construction in the 1920s, 1960s and 1980s. The program includes rehabilitating and replacing spillway gates as well as the balance of plant equipment and transformers.
“Hydro modernization will ensure our hydro fleet is available to serve our customers’ energy needs well into the future,” said Chris Goodman, Alabama Power Hydro manager, adding that hydro provides low-cost energy, including at times of peak demand. One of the advantages of hydro energy is that it can be deployed quickly, literally in a matter of seconds when customer demand is high.
Alabama Power’s hydro team is made up of more than 70 employees who work throughout the state to help power a better Alabama.
Alabama Power’s first hydro plant – Lay Dam on the Coosa River – was placed in service in 1914. The company now operates hydro plants on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior river systems. Last year, 30% of the electricity that served Alabama Power customers originated from clean fuel sources including hydro.
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In addition to providing a power source , Alabama Power’s hydro reservoirs offer recreational opportunities to customers, while the company’s system of dams help to manage river flows during significant rain events.
“Reinvestment in hydro doesn’t just help us keep making energy. It also helps preserve the communities around our lakes and reservoirs, which benefit those communities and ultimately, the state of Alabama,” said Wyatt Williams, Alabama Power Operations and Maintenance manager.
Alabama Power reservoirs provide more than 3,500 miles of shoreline for recreation for anyone to enjoy, as well as vibrant habitats for fish and wildlife. The lakes are also important assets that drive local economies, drawing visitors from across the state and beyond.
Alabama Power provides a wealth of information for lake visitors through the company’s recently updated Shorelines app and its online lake information site, apcshorelines. Download the free app or visit apcshorelines.com for more information about hydro and Alabama Power lakes.