US Army Corps of Engineers
Savannah District Website

RBR Dam and Lake O&M

PROJECT NAME AND STATE:  Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, GA

AUTHORIZATION:   Flood Control Act of 1966; Water Resources Development Act of 1986



Allocation for FY 2017


Allocation for FY 2018


Allocation for FY 2019


President's Budget for FY 2020



LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION:  Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, completed in 1985, is located on the Savannah River, near Calhoun Falls, SC.  The project provides hydropower, flood risk management, recreation, fish and wildlife management, water quality and water supply benefits. The project’s 24,390 acres of land, 26,650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline are situated in four counties and two states: Georgia and South Carolina.  Richard B. Russell is a Public Law 89-72 project therefore the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism operate and maintain the majority of the recreation areas under cost share and lease agreements. 

ACTIVITIES FOR FY2019:  FY 2019 funds will be used for routine O&M for the multi-purpose project with power.  Funds will also be used by the USACE Hydropower Design Center to produce E&D specifications for contracts to repair and upgrade the power plant bridge crane and the gantry crane.

ACTIVITIES FOR FY2020FY 2020 funds will be used for routine O&M for the multi-purpose project with power. No additional work beyond normal annual O&M will be performed at this funding level.

ISSUES AND OTHER INFORMATION:  High priority additional work includes the Replacement of Powerhouse Roof for $1.2M and the replacement of the Russell Dissolved Oxygen System Underwater Diffusers for $750K.  Russell Project is also in need of a replacement of its 480 VAC switchgear estimated at $2.5M.  Richard B. Russell is one of only two major hydropower projects in the Corps of Engineers with pump-back capabilities and has extensive environmental features adding to operational and maintenance requirements.  Two oxygenation systems are required allowing the plant to operate all pump-back units. The Richard B. Russell Power Plant produced 427,266 megawatt hours in FY 2018 and returned $33,418,851 to the United States Treasury. The project served 704,612 visitors in FY18 with associated visitor spending of $17,887,000 within 30 miles of the project, supporting 158 jobs. The project supplied 3 communities with water. The project prevented an estimated $60,645,136 in cumulative flood damages from 1985 to date. 

ADMINISTRATION POSITION:  Project is consistent with current Administration policy.

ACTION OFFICER:  Margarett (Mackie) McIntosh                                  11 June 2019