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Take a behind-the-scenes tour inside TVA Dams

Have you always wanted to know how a dam works? Take a behind-the-scenes tour of one of six TVA hydro plants and see firsthand how water turns into electricity.

Built for the People

TVA’s mission of service is to improve the quality of life for the people of the Tennessee Valley through their work in energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. On the wall of each powerhouse hang the words “Built for the People of the United States.”

The dam tours are part of a pilot program to share these architectural and engineering wonders with the people they were built to serve.

They will host tours on a limited basis at six hydro facilities across the Valley: Norris, Chickamauga, Wilson, Kentucky, Guntersville Dams, and Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant.

Safety is a priority for TVA. Their hydro generation facilities are working industrial environments with serious electrical and mechanical hazards. All visitors must be able to walk and climb numerous stairs independently and hold handrails independently.

Dam Photos:

Things to Know Before You Sign up

  • The tour guides will share information about the mission of TVA, its history and the operations of the facility.
  • Because you are visiting an electricity generating facility, access will be limited for your safety.
  • Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Only visitors with approval and confirmation will be permitted on the tour.
    • No substitutions or additions are allowed.
    • Please bring your confirmation with you—on your phone is fine.
  • All participants over 16 years of age must provide government-issued photo identification (e.g. drivers license, passport) upon arrival.
  • Party size may not exceed 6, to allow individuals, families or small groups the opportunity to participate.
  • Minimum age to participate is 12 years of age.
  • If you are trying to accommodate a group of 7 or more, submit this form to hydrotours@tva.gov and your request will be considered as TVA operations allow.
  • TVA police will run a background check on all participating adults who sign up for a tour.
  • All participants will have their bags checked and undergo a metal detector screening prior to the tour.
  • Firearms, illegal drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
    • Possession of these items will result in not being allowed to take the tour.
    • If illegal substances are found, the participant will be subject to arrest.
  • All participants are subject to search at any time while on TVA property.
  • Tours will be conducted in English.
  • No high heels or open heeled shoes—including clogs, Crocs or bare feet—will be allowed on a tour.
    • Tennis shoes are recommended.
  • Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.
  • Backpacks, packages or other containers are prohibited.
  • All facilities are not ADA accessible.
  • You may take photographs during the tour.
  • They do not expect to cancel any tours; however, all of the facilities open to the public are working hydro generation plants that play an important role in supplying low-cost, clean energy for the Tennessee Valley region. If there is an unforeseen emergency at one of these facilities, then TVA will notify you via email and will work to reschedule the tour at a later date.

Tour Dates and Sign-up Links:

Pick a location, date, and follow the link in the tour times to register for TVA dam tours

You will receive a confirmation email along with a list of things to know before you arrive.