Smoky Mountain Hydro

Smoky Mountain Hydro


Chilhowee Reservoir remains drawn down until further notice

The following procedures have been established:

  • BSMH will continue to provide the required minimum downstream releases into Tellico Reservoir, and Chilhowee Reservoir will be generally operated as run-of-river during the investigation.
  • During the investigation and drawdown all boat launch areas will be closed, and all boating will be prohibited. Additionally, the Pear Tree access area in Monroe County, TN will be closed and camping will be prohibited. BSMH will give advance notice, on-site, of the closures. The day-use only areas along US Highway 129 will remain open.
  • Walk-in bank fishing is prohibited.
  • Public access to the reservoir is prohibited.
  • BSMH will work with TWRA’s Wildlife Management Officer and the local county sheriff’s departments to increase patrols at the reservoir.

Once a timeframe for returning the lake to normal operating level is been established, Brookfield Renewable will inform the public.

Boaters and fishermen are encouraged to visit Santeetlah and Calderwood reservoirs.

If there are any questions, please contact or 518-615-9352.

Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower features 4 facilities of 378 MW of installed capacity and 86 miles of transmission located in the western portion of the Little Tennessee watershed on the Little Tennessee and Cheoah Rivers in Graham and Swain counties in North Carolina, and Blount and Monroe Counties in Tennessee.

The facilities lie in the Southern Appalachian Region adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests and contribute to the area's rich historical, cultural, environmental and recreational features.

Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower is certified as low impact by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute.


Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower (FERC Project No. 2169) is operated by Brookfield Renewable Energy Group. On January 25, 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a new 40 year operating license.

Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower features four reservoirs — Santeetlah, Cheoah, Calderwood and Chilhowee - that offer diverse recreation opportunities and important habitat for plants, fish and wildlife.

The Cheoah Dam and powerhouse were constructed from 1916 to 1919; the Santeetlah facility from 1925 through 1928; the Calderwood facility from 1928 to 1930; and the Chilhowee facility from 1955 through 1957. They have a combined licensed capacity of 380.1 MW.

Three of the 4 hydroelectric dams -- Cheoah, Calderwood and Chilhowee -- are located on the Little Tennessee River. The fourth dam, Santeetlah, is located on the Cheoah River, a tributary to the Little Tennessee River.

Smoky Mountain Hydro | Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners
Andy Davis
Manager, Community Relations
Phone: 518-615-9352

Generation schedule, elevation and flow data are available in the Recreation and Flow section