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TodayJun 23, 2024
Toledo Bend
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Toledo Bend Dam Generating Station

Some Facts


The large site straddles the border of Texas and Louisiana. The dam and generating complex is in Newton County, Texas (near Burkeville, Texas) and Sabine Parish, Louisiana (near Hornbeck, Louisiana). This site forms part of the Texas-Louisiana border.


The largest man-made body of water in the South, the lake covers 205,000 acres, is 15 miles across at its widest point, and has 1,264 miles of shoreline. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 4,777,000 acre-feet (one acre-foot is the volume of water required to cover an acre of land to a depth of one foot), and it has an average depth of 60 feet.


The two hydroelectric power generators boast a generating capacity of 92,000 kilowatts. The estimated annual energy output is 205 million kilowatt-hours.


The two generators are operated by remote control facilities from the Entergy System Control Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Texas and Louisiana, through their respective Sabine River Authorities and in cooperation with three investor-owned utility companies – Gulf States Utilities Company, Louisiana Power and Light Company and Central Louisiana Electric Company – created the reservoir, dam and generating complex at a cost of $70 million. More remarkable, however, was that the project was built without using federal funds in permanent financing. Power generated by this hydroelectric facility is purchased by the three electric utilities. GSU receives half the power, while LP&L and CLECO share the other half.


The dam alone required 9 million yards of excavation, 8 million yards of embankment and 9,500 tons of steel. A joint $3.5 million highway relocation project was needed to elevate portions of Louisiana Highway 6 and Texas Highway 21.

Toledo Bend Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant

Hydroelectric Power Cycle 
How It Works

The Toledo Bend generating station is the only hydroelectric (water-powered) plant operated by Entergy. Here’s a summary of how it works:

Water from the reservoir enters the intake (1) through the open intake gates (2) the water flows down the power tunnel (3) through the wicket gates (4) which can be controlled automatically or manually. It then continues past the turbine blades (5) which turn the generator (6) at a constant 100 revolutions per minute (RPM), changing the mechanical energy into electrical energy. The 13,800 A.C. voltage is delivered through switchgear (7) to a transformer (8) which steps up the voltage to 138,000 A.C. for transmission.

The dam is operated by Entergy Corporation and the information on this page is from one of their brochures.

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