US Army Corps of Engineers
Vicksburg District

DeGray Dam’s Hydropower Unit to be Refurbished

Published Feb. 28, 2014
Completed in 1972, this earthen dam backs up the waters of the Caddo River some 27 miles creating DeGray Lake.  The history of the Caddo River goes back hundreds of years to the first settlers in the area – the Caddo Indians.

Although recreation plays a major role in every day activity, hydropower makes this lake one of the most efficient and energy producing projects in the South.  DeGray Lake holds the distinction as the first “pump back capable” impoundment in the history of the Corps of Engineers.

Completed in 1972, this earthen dam backs up the waters of the Caddo River some 27 miles creating DeGray Lake. The history of the Caddo River goes back hundreds of years to the first settlers in the area – the Caddo Indians. Although recreation plays a major role in every day activity, hydropower makes this lake one of the most efficient and energy producing projects in the South. DeGray Lake holds the distinction as the first “pump back capable” impoundment in the history of the Corps of Engineers.

Vicksburg, Miss…The hydropower generating unit located below the the DeGray Lake Dam will be inoperative for approximately eight months to rebuild and update the system. The hydropower generator went on line in 1973. The hydropower generating system uses the water flow of the Caddo River, through the DeGray Lake Dam to produce eco-friendly, renewable power.

The work will be performed by the Alstom Corporation at a cost of approximately $7 million. The project will be a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Southwestern Power Administration and the Entergy Corporation.

DeGray Lake consist of approximately 13,400-acres and was built by the Corps to assist Arkansas with flood risk reduction and to supply the area with clean drinking water. It is located approximately eight miles northwest of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

The re-building will enable the hydropower unit to distribute clean, reliable power for the next 50 years.
The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000 square-mile area within Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The District’s three hydropower dams power 34,000 homes and produce $26 million in electricity annually.

Although the primary mission of DeGray Lake is flood damage risk reduction, over 3 million individuals visit recreational areas annually to enjoy the camping, playgrounds, swimming areas, several types of trails, fishing, boat ramps and marinas. The lake traffic brings approximately $5 million annually to the local economy and supports approximately 262 jobs. DeGray Lake is one of the three lakes in Arkansas maintained and operated by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. Information on Corps lakes and recreational areas can be found on the Vicksburg District Operations Division’s website. http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation.aspx

Contact
Kavanaugh Breazeale
601-631-5052
kavanaugh.breazeale@usace.army.mil

Release no. 14-018