Tags:Duke Energy to Begin Work on Linville-Paddy Creek Spillway
While the new Bridgewater Hydro Station project nears completion, a separate construction team will begin to mobilize for upcoming work on the Linville-Paddy Creek Spillway.
Three dams form Lake James—Linville, Paddy Creek and Catawba dams. The Linville-Paddy Creek Spillway is between the Linville and Paddy Creek dams on the southeast side of the lake. This 240-foot long spillway, constructed in the late 1920s, is designed to release flood waters downstream to protect the adjacent dams. A concrete wall extension was added in 1941 to better direct flood waters.
Since then, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued new guidelines that increase the safety factors needed during severe flood scenarios. Duke Energy will be initiating construction on the spillway to raise the height of a portion of the concrete wall by approximately nine feet and to provide increased stability against extreme flood conditions. The spillway remains safe today; this is simply an added measure of safety to comply with new federal guidelines.
Duke Energy plans to begin mobilizing for this work November 28 by building access roads and support structures. Actual spillway construction will begin in January and continue through May 2012. This will include a work team of about 10 people, accessing the spillway by North Powerhouse Road. This work should not impact those living or traveling nearby.
Duke Energy plans to operate Lake James within its normal operating range of 92 to 100 feet during the spillway work, though significant rainfall or dry conditions may impact lake levels.
Bridgewater Hydro Station Update
As of November 14, all three units at the new Bridgewater Hydro Station are operable and available for service. Duke Energy retired the two units at the original Bridgewater station on October 17.
Duke Energy continues to plan for a 30-day hydro station outage beginning in mid-January to complete the disconnection of the old powerhouse. It expects to operate Lake James within the normal operating range of 92 to 100 feet during that time. There will be no flow releases from either the old or new powerhouse during this outage; however, the flow valve at the Catawba Dam will be operating to provide flow downstream.
The new 31.5-megawatt station increases capacity by 8.5 megawatts and is being constructed just downstream as Duke Energy makes room for federally-required seismic stability work in 2012. For continual updates on lake levels and project information, please visit the Duke Energy website “Check Lake Levels” page at http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/levels.asp, or call our Lake Information Line at 1.800.829.5253.