Pensacola Dam was the first hydroelectric facility in the state. GRDA built the dam between December 30, 1938, and March 21, 1940, when depression-era labor was abundant. It is located between the communities of Langley and Disney, spanning a mile across the Grand River Valley and holding back the 43,500 acres of water that form Grand Lake O' the Cherokees.
In an effort to increase reliability while holding down maintenance costs at Pensacola Dam, the Grand River Dam Authority began a major upgrade project there in the fall of 1997. Though they are Oklahoma's oldest hydroelectric turbine generators, the six units at Pensacola Dam have performed admirably at the facility for over 50 years. However, increased production capability following the upgrade ensures that they will play a vital role in the GRDA generation system for the next 50 years and beyond. A new design of turbine runners and turbine shafts, rewound generators, new excitation equipment, transformers and cable were included in the upgrade.
The Grand River Dam Authority offers FREE tours of historic Pensacola Dam to the general public. During the summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays), tours are given five days a week, originating from the GRDA Lake Patrol office, located above the powerhouse on the west end of the dam. Call the Lake Patrol for exact days and time during the summer.
Admission: Admission is Free.
Hours: Tours during summer.
Address: SH-28 E.
At other times of the year, groups can schedule a tour by contacting GRDA's public relations coordinator at 918-256-5545. Tours do require a lot of walking and take about one hour to complete.
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