7/25/2018
Rescheduled Leesville Dam generator test set for Thursday; will increase downstream flows on Roanoke River


ROANOKE, Va., July 25, 2018 – Appalachian Power will perform a required capacity test of its electricity generating units at the Leesville Dam in southwestern Virginia on Thursday, July 26 beginning at approximately 3 p.m. and lasting through early Friday. The testing was originally planned for July 19, but was rescheduled because of mechanical issues.

The test will ramp up the operation of the generators at the dam and will create water flows that increase slowly over 8 hours. Flows will peak at the dam between 10 and 11 p.m. Thursday before decreasing over several hours to normal water release cycling.

The test is not expected to create hazards downstream, but the company urges recreational and commercial users of the river and shoreline to be aware of higher and faster temporary water flows that could increase the river water level by up to 8 feet.

Downstream flows will increase at locations on the Roanoke River (also known locally as Staunton River) depending on distance from the dam. Areas close to the dam—for example, the Altavista area—could see a slow and total increase in river elevation of about 8 feet reaching a peak between 1 and 2 a.m. Friday. River flows will decrease and return to normal following the test.

Warning sirens at the dam will sound before each period of power generation. The public fishing area below the dam will be affected as water rises. Weather or other circumstances could again change the timing of this test.

The annual testing is required by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in the mid-Atlantic region. Appalachian will concurrently run both of its generators (20 megawatts each) at Leesville for one hour during the peak test period.

Leesville Dam is the lower dam of the two-reservoir Smith Mountain pumped storage hydroelectric project operated by Appalachian Power in southwestern Virginia. Leesville Lake is located in Bedford, Campbell and Pittsylvania counties on the Roanoke River.

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John Shepelwich
Appalachian Power Corporate Communications
jeshepelwich@aep.com

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