Ocoee Dam No. 1 and Ocoee Dam No. 2 were among the first hydroelectric projects in the Tennessee Valley. Built by a private power company between 1910 and 1913, they were acquired by TVA in 1939. TVA built Ocoee Dam No. 3 during World War II.
Ocoee No. 2 and Ocoee No. 3 make clever use of East Tennessees mountainous topography to maximize power production. The powerhouses of Ocoees No. 2 and 3 are located five and two-and-a-half miles downstream from their respective dams. Water flows from Ocoee No. 2 to its powerhouse by way of a wooden flume, and from Ocoee No. 3 to its powerhouse by a tunnel.
In each case the terrain drops precipitously from the dam to the powerhouse, while the tunnel and flume remain fairly level. This means that when water reaches the Ocoee No. 2 powerhouse, it must drop 250 feet through pipes to reach the generators.
As a result, the power-producing capacity of 30-foot-high Ocoee No. 2 is roughly equal to what youd get if a 250-foot dam had been built at the powerhouse site. The same ingenious design boosts power production at Ocoee No. 3.