Thurmond Dam producing more electricity

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - The rainy, cool winter has helped boost hydropower generation at Thurmond Dam.

Army Corps of Engineers' Savannah District water control manager Stan Simpson says water flow at the dam is about five times what it was a year ago.

He says that so far this year, Thurmond has generated 249,188 megawatts, compared with 44,089 megawatts during the same period of 2009.

Douglas Spencer, an engineer at the Southeastern Power Administration's headquarters in Elberton, Ga., says the additional power won't affect the rates charged to the 491 electric cooperatives and municipalities who buy it.

But Spencer says when the hydro power is not available, the agency has to buy electricity at higher rates, which are passed along to customers.

In 2009, the agency spent $17 million purchasing alternate power.

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