Southwestern Power Administration

May 3, 2017
Whitney Powerhouse Re-dedicated

On May 3, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers re-dedicated the Whitney Dam Powerhouse. The ceremony finalized a decade of rehabilitation of the hydropower facilities at Whitney Lake in east Texas. The $32 million-dollar project will increase the reliability, sustainability, and capacity of the hydroelectric generating equipment.

SPRA President Chuck Bryant speaks at the Whitney Dam Powerhouse Rededication Ceremony. He noted that the work done at Whitney would not have been possible without a mutually beneficial relationship between the Corps, Southwestern, and SPRA.

Guest speakers from the Corps’ Southwestern Division, Southwestern Power Administration, and Southwestern Power Resources Association (SPRA) all emphasized the increased capability and dependability of the new equipment and the multitude of benefits that Whitney Lake and Dam Powerhouse provide.

Since it came online over 60 years ago, Whitney has provided reliable and renewable power and energy to the people of Texas and the surrounding region. However, like other infrastructure from the 1950s, Whitney was past due for rehabilitation and repair. A tremendous amount of work has gone into bringing this powerhouse back to its original condition and beyond.

With an original nameplate rating of 30 MW, now uprated to 43 MW, Whitney has generated nearly 3.5 billion kWh of energy to date. New turbines, new wicket gates, rewound generators, and all the peripheral systems that support them will ensure that Whitney can provide reliable and renewable power and energy to the next generation of Texans.

During the re-dedication ceremony at Whitney Dam, the switch was flipped to power up the newly rehabilitated powerhouse. The $32 million customer funded project resulted in an uprate of 13 MW of generating capacity.

Furthermore, this work helps Southwestern to continue its commitment to repaying the American taxpayer’s investment in this critical infrastructure. The estimated $2.3 million per year generated by Whitney is pooled with revenue from other projects to pay for the original investment, replacements, interest, and annual operations and maintenance on the projects in Southwestern’s marketing area. Most significantly – from Southwestern’s perspective at least – the continued generation of power from the Whitney Powerhouse will ensure that the Federal government can meet its repayment obligations to future generations while helping to keep the lights on.