Lake Whitney powerhouse squeezes waterLake Whitney powerhouse squeezes waterhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=165202017-05-10T05:00:00Z2017-05-10T20:00:00Z

​​​​​LAKE WHITNEY, HILL COUNTY – ​​​​A ceremony with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials capped a decade-long effort to renovate the last remaining hydropower facility on the Brazos River—Lake Whitney.

The $32 million project allows the powerhouse to respond to electrical demands more quickly and to squeeze more energy out of the same amount of falling water.​

Lake Whitney hydropower facility on Brazos River 2017
​The new Toshiba turbines are rated to produce up to 43 megawatts, replacing the original Allis-Chalmers units that could produce no more than 30 megawatts.

The new units are more efficient and can be turned on much more quickly to meet sudden surges of electrical demand in the grid.

That nimbleness also could create a hazard for recreational users who fish and paddle just downstream of the dam, said Lake Whitney manager Abraham Phillips. 

In the past, three alarms would sound before water was released from the dam, giving users a 15-minute warning. 

But now, recreational users near the dam should be prepared to seek higher ground immediately after a single siren, Phillips said.
T​​he lake’s first project manager had to face suspicious neighbors who saw it as a land grab of prime cotton farmland. ​

According to a 1946 Waco News-Tribune article, he “tramped amiably all over the Brazos bottom, climbed limestone ridges and answered all questions.”
Waco Tribune-Herald
Infrastructure & Transportation

​Check out ​True Tales of Hill County for more on Lake Whitney.

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