US Army Corps of Engineers
Savannah District

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

SUMMARIZED FINANCIAL DATA

O&M

Allocation for FY 2015

$10,170,295

Allocation for FY 2016

$7,984,350

Allocation for FY 2017

$7,771,273

President's Budget for FY 2018

$9,003,000

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 FY2017:  Performed routine hydropower operations and maintenance on 8 generating units, 4 with pump storage capability, and two oxygenation systems.  Continued routine annual natural resource responsibilities on project lands and working with state cost share partners on management of the recreation program.  Funded required mitigation payments to the states of Georgia and South Carolina.  Completed draft tube liner repairs on Units 6 & 7.   Awarded contract to replace gravel and repair grounding mat in the project switchyard.

ACTIVITIES FOR FY2018Complete switchyard gravel replacement and execute the Civil Works Land Data Migration effort.  Perform routine hydropower operations and maintenance on 8 generating units, 4 with pump storage capability, and two oxygenation systems.  Fund required mitigation payments to the states of Georgia and South Carolina.  Funds are projected to initiate and complete the Geospatial Land Data Migration initiative for this project’s land tracts. 

ISSUES AND OTHER INFORMATION:  Russell Project is in need of a replacement of its 480 VAC switchgear estimated at $2.5M.  This work will greatly increase safety in the powerplant by significantly reducing arc flash electrical hazards while also increasing the reliability of power production.  Russell Project is also in need of the fabrication of replacement wicket gate bushings ($250K) and to redesign the spillway gate hoisting mechanisms ($200K).

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. Richard B. Russell Plant produced a total of 482,078 MWH in FY16 and generated $41.3M in total power revenues.  The project served 902,641 visitors in FY12, resulting in $36.2M in visitor spending within 30 miles of the project.  Richard B. Russell has prevented an estimated $36,963,577 in cumulative flood damages since construction.


ADMINISTRATION POSITION:  Project is consistent with current Administration policy.

ACTION OFFICER:  Margarett (Mackie) McIntosh                                  1 October 2017

                                  CESAS/912-652-5320