Leesville lake is approximately 20 miles long, includes 100 miles of shoreline, and encompasses approximately 5,000 surface acres. Its project boundary is the 620 foot contour elevation while the project fluctuates between the 600 and the 613 foot contour elevations.
Smith Mountain Project is a 636-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility that
utilizes an upper reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) and a lower reservoir (Leesville
Lake). Water stored in Smith Mountain Lake first passes through turbine-generators
in the powerhouse to produce electricity and is discharged into Leesville Lake.
Most of the water is retained in Leesville Lake and pumped back into the Smith Mountain
Lake for re-use. A portion of the water goes through the turbine-generators at the
Leesville powerhouse to generate additional electricity and to meet the minimum
discharge requirements of the project's operating license.
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