Category: Corps of Engineers Projects
The Army Corps of Engineers says in an update of the hydro-electric power project at Jordan Lake that the first generator began commercial operation in January and the second unit should be online by early to mid-summer.
Jordan Hydro Limited, Inc., a private company, began constructing two generators at the Jordan Lake dam near Moncure in November 2010. The Corps of Engineers administers the B. Everett Jordan Dam and Reservoir, including a recreation area at the dam.
The combined Kaplan-style modular turbine generators are expected to produce about 16,900 megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to supply approximately 1,700 homes, the Corps' news release says. The power is sold to Progress Energy and distributed to homes and businesses in the area.
About 76 percent of water passing through the Jordan Lake dam will be used to create power that is non-polluting and emits no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the Corps says.
The amount of water released from Jordan Lake will not change for the hydroelectricity project, and will remain based on factors such as inflow, downstream flood conditions, municipal water requirements and water quality.
"That was one of the big concerns of stakeholders," Jordan Dam Operations Manager Craig Shoe said. "We're not going to change anything operationally. Jordan Hydro only uses the water that we regularly release."
Jordan Hydro, a subsidiary of North Fork Electric, Inc., has more information and photos of the Jordan Lake construction project here.
The New & Observer today had a nice story about a pair of nesting bald eagles raising two chicks at Jordan Lake that are being monitored by a webcam operated by N.C. State University.
"The eaglets hatched this month, and the website has received tens of thousands of hits and about 1,500 visitors from more than a dozen countries since it was put up in December," The N&O says. "The chicks should remain on the nest until they fully develop in mid-April."
The webcam project grew from a bird-watching class field trip for an NCSU biology class.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the lake and a recreation area at the dam site, tracks eagle nests throughout the Triangle, and has been monitoring these eagles during the past several breeding seasons.
There are more than 70 breeding pairs of bald eagles in North Carolina today, including five active nests on Jordan Lake, where 32,868 acres preserved for recreation and wildlife management also include a popular state recreation area, which has five campgrounds, the underappreciated Jordan Lake Educational State Forest and state Game Lands.
By the middle of next year, Jordan Lake should be a source of renewable energy via hydroelectric power generators being installed at the dam near Moncure.
The Corps of Engineers, which administers the B. Everett Jordan Dam and Reservoir, said today the road across the dam would close this week as construction began. The Corps operates a visitor center and picnic area at the dam and allows bank fishing below the spillway.
Installation of two vertical generators on the upstream side of the dam's water intake tower should take up to eight months, the Corps said. Each of the generators contains a 2.2-megawatt turbine.
A private enterprise, the Jordan Hydroelectric Limited Partnership, is installing the generators.
When complete, the project will generate up to 16,900 megawatt hours of green power annually, enough to power more than 1,500 homes.
In 2007, the state legislature required power companies to derive at least 12.5 percent of their energy from a combination of renewable sources and from energy-saving programs by 2021, according to a News & Observer article from 2009 about a hydroelectric firm previously expected to build at Jordan Lake.
Progress Energy, which gets less than 1 percent of its power from renewable energy sources, would buy the power produced at Jordan Lake.
This is the first of several such projects proposed or in process for Wilmington District Corps of Engineers facilities, which include W. Kerr Scott Lake in Wilkes County, Falls Lake in Wake County, and three Locks and Dams on the Cape Fear River, all of which also offer public recreation sites.
Repairs and renovations to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District's Lock and Dam #1 on the Cape Fear River will require the area's boat launch and picnic area to close tomorrow until the project is completed, the Corps says.
The first part of the project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will repair a 40-foot-deep scour hole from almost 100 years of water pouring over the low-head dam.
The Corps will host a visitor day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 10 to show off the project, which will be visible from the overlook at the old lockmaster's house.
Boaters traveling up or down the river can still get through the locks by booking at least 48 hours in advance. To book a lockage, call Lockmaster Phil Edge at 910-483-7746 or Ranger Tom Charles at 910-874-0883. Canoe portage may be available – call well in advance to inquire.
An alternative boat launch is available at Elwell's Ferry, operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, about six miles upstream of Lock and Dam #1 on Route 87.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Wilmington District has contracted for "about $15.5 million" worth of work funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
About $2 million worth of projects awarded in the last week of July include a $97,388 contract awarded to Tetra Tech Inc., an international firm based in California, to develop plans and specs to renovate the Tailrace facilities at Falls Lake, and a $48,491 contract awarded to Joyner Keeny, of Rocky Mount for conducting shoreline stabilization surveys at John H. Kerr Lake.
Tetra Tech Inc. also won a $499,997 contract to study the capacity of dredge material disposal sites in the Intracoastal Waterway, and a contract for $1,294,362 went to Singleton Enterprises of Luthersville, Georgia, to build a sewer system improvement at Philpot Dam and Park in Bassett, Virginia.
The Corps previously announced a variety of projects to be funded by the federal stimulus plan.
Of the 10 day use areas at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir near Wilkesboro, Berry Mountain Park and Boomer Park normally charge $1 per person to swim, up to $4 per car, and the lake's five boat ramps usually charge $3 per launch (a sixth at Bandit's Roost campground is free for campers). The fees will be waived through the second weekend in August, the Wilmington office says.
Fees for camping, use of shelters and other special events are not part of the offer. Also, any fees charged by state parks at Falls Lake or Lake Jordan will be unaffected.
The National Parks Service has announced several repair and renovation projects among its Outer Banks Group parks, including restoration of the Bodie Island Lighthouse, rehabilitation of the Ocracoke Lighthouse and renovation of facilities at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Money is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the National Park Service.
The stimulus bill also provides money that will pay for more than 40 projects at Corps of Engineers sites in North Carolina, including replacing boat houses and maintaining the dam at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir and repairing the tailrace area and other landscaping at Falls Lake, in addition to a variety of dredging operations along the Intracoastal Waterway. There will also be money to hire additional rangers during the height of the season at Kerr, Falls Lake and B. Everette Jordan Dam and Lake.