Salina – In order to complete a mandatory inspection and collect important data along the canal and fore bay structure, as well as the penstocks and reservoir rim, the Grand River Dam Authority is informing the public that a drawdown of the W.R. Holway Reservoir will begin February 12.
According to GRDA Corporate Communications Director Justin Alberty, GRDA will lower the elevation of the reservoir to expose these areas and facilitate the inspection by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC grants GRDA a license to operate the Salina Pumped Storage Project (SPSP) and this inspection is being done as part of those license requirements, said Alberty.
“This is a routine inspection which is required every five years but we are also collecting data to aid us in a repair project next year,” said Alberty. “We want the public to be aware because the level of the reservoir will be down about 42 feet below its normal operating level.”
Alberty said GRDA expects to begin refilling the reservoir by the second week of March.
Located east of Salina, Oklahoma, the Holway Reservoir is the upper reservoir attached to GRDA’s SPSP. This unique hydroelectric facility (the only one of its kind in Oklahoma), can pump water out of the Saline Creek arm of Lake Hudson and up the hillside into the upper reservoir. Then, when power generation is needed, the water is released back through the six turbine-generators in the powerhouse to create hydroelectricity. Holway Reservoir was created with the construction of the SPSP in 1968.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.