About the Chilhowee Hydroelectric Facility
The Chilhowee hydroelectric facility was built by ALCOA, with construction beginning in 1955 and completion coming in 1957. It was built at thate time to provide power for a local aluminum manufacturing center. In 2012, Brookfield Renewable purchased the Chilhowee facility along with three others in the region Three of these four facilities owned and operated by Brookfield in the Smoky Mountains-Chilhowee, Cheoah and Calderwood- are operated on the Little Tennessee River, while the fourth-Santeetlah-operates on the Cheoah River.
The Chilhowee facility is capable of producing 52.2 Megawatts (MW) of power.
Current Construction Project
After investigating seepage, or water exiting from the Chilhowee Dam, Brookfield made the decision to undertake a large scale project in order to ensure public safety and the long-term, continued use of the facility.
With the understanding that there is tremendous recreational use around the facility, we have been working diligently to complete the project as quickly as possible, while still ensuring that the job is done correctly and in a manner that provides safety for those working on the site.
Once a timeframe for returning the lake to normal operating level is been established, Brookfield Renewable will inform the public.
Boaters and fishermen are encouraged to visit Santeetlah and Calderwood reservoirs.
Public Safety & Procedures
Please respect all fencing, signage and safety indications; they are in place to ensure your safety and that of employees and consultants working on the project. We have worked closely with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Wildlife Management Officers and the local county sheriff’s departments to increase patrols at the reservoir to ensure the safety of all.
The Following Procedures Have Been Established & Are in Place
- There has been a drawdown of water in order to complete the project.
- During drawdown all boat launch areas will be closed, and all boating will be prohibited. Additionally, the Pear Tree access area in Monroe County, Tennessee will be closed and camping will be prohibited. The day-use only areas along US Highway 129 will remain open.
- Walk-in bank fishing is prohibited.
- Public access to the reservoir is prohibited