The Drying, Dying Dead Sea

Turbine Room At The Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant

Impeller From 400 Megawatt Turbine

Pumped-Storage Plant

Clean Power

The drying, dying Dead Sea offers a remarkable opportunity to generate clean, renewable electric energy, enough to meet the peaking power needs for both Jordan's and Israel's electric grids. And this energy is mostly free except for the cost of the tunnel and hydroelectric plant that will be necessary to harvest this energy.

The tunnel, ten meters in diameter, will carry a great river of water. In fact, a channel two hundred meters wide and two meters deep would run at the velocity of one meter per second to supply the maximum tunnel flow.

The Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant of the Tennessee Valley Authority gives a good picture of what the Dead Sea Power hydroplant will look like, so far as turbine size and capacity.

"More than 1,000 workers labored at Raccoon Mountain during the next several years, excavating 10 million cubic yards of earth to build the lake, digging 12,000 feet of subterranean tunnels, carving a space the size of a football field out of solid limestone, and installing four huge Allis-Chalmers pump turbines. Over 10 million cubic yards of fill was used to construct the mountaintop dam; itís the largest rock-fill dam ever built by TVA.

In 1974, the National Society of Professional Engineers named the work at Raccoon Mountain one of Americaís most outstanding engineering projects. When completed, the plant would be the largest water-storage facility of its kind in the world.

The project took longer than expected. Originally scheduled for completion in 1973, it wasnít finished until 1979, at a cost of just over 300 million dollars. But it worked well beyond all expectations. The storage reservoir gives the Raccoon Mountain plant a tremendous amount of flexibility to balance the load and supply on the TVA system. The power used for pumping provides needed load during low-demand hours while providing power during peak-demand hours. The plant is also able to change power output very rapidly, thus matching load and supply as well as providing a back-up power source throughout the day.

With its 1.6 million kilowatts of capacity, the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant generates 14 times more power than nearby Chickamauga Dam, and it is a major factor in the efficient, reliable operation of the entire TVA power system.

It has done that every day for almost a quarter of a century and, in the wake of the plantís current modernization and upgrade in capacity, it will continue to do it for years to come."


Note: TVA is not involved in promotion or development of the Dead Sea Power Project.

This used turbine impeller will give a good understanding of the size of the turbines.

The schematic of the Raccoon Mountain Project gives a perspective of the layout of the Dead Sea Power Project. The reservoir would be comparable to the head pond reservoir at the end of the DSPP tunnel where the day's tunnel flow will be collected. The water carrier from the reservoir to the turbines will be 4.5 kilometers long for the DSPP. The power plant will be located inside the mountain in stable material, avoiding problems from construction in aluvial fill. And the switchyard for the DSPP would be located beside the turbine building on stable material.