Tour #20 – Tennessee Valley Authority Power Plants, Dams, and Hydroelectricity

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA also manages for recreation, flood control, economic growth, and many environmental stewardship projects. The tour will begin at Chickamauga Dam, a hydroelectric facility. It has four generating units with a net dependable capacity of 119 megawatts. The dam was constructed in 1940 and is 129 feet high and stretches 5,800 feet across the Tennessee River. Chickamauga Reservoir has 784 miles of shoreline and about 36,240 acres of  water surface, which makes it a very popular destination for fishing, boating and swimming. The second stop on this tour will backtrack to the systems operation center in downtown Chattanooga where participants will learn about TVA’s power operations. From this mega power center, the largest of its kind in America, system operators stare at a huge wall of computer monitors each day to ensure power is delivered to more than 9 million people across the mid-south. After a filling lunch at one of Chattanooga’s finest dining locations nearby, the last stop of the tour will encompass the scenic beauty of the Tennessee River Gorge upon Raccoon Mountain. The Raccoon Mountain project is TVA’s largest hydroelectric facility. Water is pumped to the reservoir on top of  the mountain and then used to generate electricity when additional power is needed by the TVA system. Participants will get to go deep into the cave below to learn just how the plant works and what process takes place. The area around Raccoon Mountain is a scenic, state-designated Wildlife Observation Area where deer, turkey, raccoons, and bald eagles can be seen much of the time

ADVISEMENT: This tour will be limited to the first 20 registered. There are several flights of metal stairs to climb up and down. Closed toed shoes are required.