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About Smith Mountain

Leesville lake is approximately 20 miles long, includes 100 miles of shoreline, and encompasses approximately 5,000 surface acres. Its project boundary is the 620 foot contour elevation while the project fluctuates between the 600 and the 613 foot contour elevations.

Smith Mountain Project is a 636-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility that utilizes an upper reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) and a lower reservoir (Leesville Lake). Water stored in Smith Mountain Lake first passes through turbine-generators in the powerhouse to produce electricity and is discharged into Leesville Lake. Most of the water is retained in Leesville Lake and pumped back into the Smith Mountain Lake for re-use. A portion of the water goes through the turbine-generators at the Leesville powerhouse to generate additional electricity and to meet the minimum discharge requirements of the project's operating license.