Archived Story

Will we have a higher lake level?

Published 7:33pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alabama Power expected to notify stakeholders of proposed changes to Lake Martin rule curve today

Alabama Power Company is expected to announce proposed changes to the Lake Martin rule curve on Friday.

The announcement comes less than a week before the energy company will file its relicensing application with the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating Martin Dam. Jim Crew, manager of hydro services for Southern Company Generation, said the company will send an email to stakeholders detailing the proposed changes.

“We wanted to give everybody a heads up about what we’re proposing on Wednesday,” he said.

Under current guidelines, Lake Martin’s winter pool typically is 481 feet mean sea level (msl) and the summer pool is 491 feet. Alabama Power begins lowering the lake level in early September and it reaches winter level by the beginning of January. The lake level begins rising again in mid-February and reaches summer pool by the end of April.

A number of stakeholders – local individuals, groups and businesses that are participating in the relicensing process – requested Alabama Power consider changing the current rule curve in the new license when the relicensing process began several years ago.

The proposed changes include raising the winter pool level in 1-foot increments from 481 to 486 feet msl, delaying the lake drawdown until Oct. 15 and beginning the spring fill by Jan. 15.