Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant
Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant is located in southeast Tennessee on a site that overlooks the Tennessee River near Chattanooga.
The plant works like a large storage battery. During periods of low demand, water is pumped from Nickajack Reservoir at the base of the mountain to the reservoir built at the top. It takes 28 hours to fill the upper reservoir. When demand is high, water is released via a tunnel drilled through the center of the mountain to drive generators in the mountains underground power plant.
The area around Raccoon Mountain is a state-designated Wildlife Observation Area. The mountaintop is home to whitetail deer, woodchucks, gray foxes, and, of course, raccoons. The most compelling wildlife attraction of the area is a large wintering population of bald eagles, which can be sighted from the overlook as they hunt in the woods and waters.
The Raccoon Mountain Visitor Center
Located off Raccoon Mountain Road near U.S. Highway 64/72 west of Chattanooga, Tenn., the Raccoon Mountain visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round except major holidays. Newly refurbished and staffed by TVA retirees, the visitor center has maps, displays and videos depicting the history of TVA and construction of the facility. Tours of the power plant itself are no longer available.
Time-lapse Raccoon Mountain Unit 3 disassembly
Time-lapse video of the 81 days of disassembly and 30,000 man hours for Unit 3 maintenance at TVA's Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage facility near Chattanooga, Tennessee.