TVA's Appalachia Power House
The Appalachia Power House is about seven miles downstream from the dam. We finally bagged it on Labor Day Weekend, 2001, and survived! (See the trip report for the gruesome story!)
The Power House is located on the south bank of the Hiwassee River, in the middle of nowhere sort of between Farner and Ducktown, TN. This shot from across the river shows the plant in production, the penstocks into the twin turbines, the transformer yard beside the plant, and a glimpse of the switchyard on top of the mountain behind the plant.
This is a view of the other side of the transformer yard, where the electricity from the generators is stepped up to (probably) 161KV and sent up to the switchyard.
There is a very nice suspension footbridge across the river, and this is the way any sane person will come to visit the power house.
However, we did it the hard (insane?) way, and this picture proves it! Here is the van up next to the gate to the Power House, at the end of an 11 mile, 45 minute drive on some of the worst roads we have encountered yet!
Here is a shot of the twin penstocks exiting the tunnel. We were standing on the railroad tracks behind the power house... the penstocks go under the tracks to get to the turbines. The stairway is off limits to the public.
We figure that TVA has an arrangement with CSX Railroad for access to the power house. There's no way they could bring in heavy equipment on the Forest Service road! The railroad obviously figured prominently in construction of the plant. This shot shows a siding that goes right in to the power house though the large access door. It is no longer in service, but the main road bed, while it doesn't look like it sees a lot of traffic, still looks in pretty good shape.
This is the only shot we took of the switchyard (the trip report tells the story!)
Here is a look at the Hiwassee River downstream. During the warm season, TVA schedules power production around recreational interests on the river, as they do on the Ocoee River. This river eventually empties into Chickamauga Lake on the Tennessee River. We've heard some stories about some fishermen from the lake getting stranded in their boats when TVA shut down power production. The moral: TVA publishes their production schedules... USE THEM!!
The requisite geek shot. Here is a rain gauge with satellite uplink. (And it was this shot where I realized I have been misspelling Apalachia since Day 1!)