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Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 11:44am

Georgia Dams Seeing Increased Power Output Due To Heavy Rain

Officials with the Army Corp of Engineers say that heavy rain has more than tripled power production at the Thurmond, Hartwell and Russell dams. The dams produce electricity when water flows through turbine generators. That energy is then sold to electric cooperatives and municipalities across the state.

Doug Spencer is spokesperson for the Southeastern Power Administration, an organization that markets the energy for the Corps of Engineers. He says the increase in production benefits customers because it keeps them from having to buy more expensive energy elsewhere.

"If they get more government energy at the SEPA rate it drives down their need for market energy at market prices," said Spencer. "So what ever the SEPA rate is going to be, 9 times out of 10,is lower than a market rate."

Money generated by the sale of hydroelectric power is used by the Corps of Engineers to pay back the cost of building and maintaining their dams.