Under a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued on December 17, 2015, and after a 30-day comment period, Alabama Power Company began operating today under new guidelines for reservoir management at Lake Martin. Significant is the authority, assuming there is sufficient water available, to maintain Martin’s summer pool level at 491 feet mean sea level until October 15, six weeks longer than under the old rule. The license also allows a winter pool level of 484 feet, three feet higher than previously. Under the old rule, the process of raising the water level back to the summer pool was scheduled February 15. With the new winter pool authority, that process could begin in late February or early March.
Lake Martin Dam, which impounds more than 40,000 acres of water in the Tallapoosa River, was placed in service in December 1926. At the time, the lake was the world’s largest man-made body of water with 700 miles of shoreline. The project also includes a hydroelectric plant with a 4-unit generating capacity of 55,200 kilowatts.
According to a report from WSFA television in Montgomery, the new license allows Alabama Power “ to make significant recreational and environmental enhancements around the reservoir. The enhancements are expected to include the protection of additional undeveloped lands around the lake and improvements at shoreline recreational areas.”
Jerry L. Sailors