In 1957, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized Alabama Power to build a dam and power-house at the Sipsey Fork tributary, Known now as Smith Dam, And to build a generating plant at the existing Bankhead Lock and Dam. In 1965 , FERC authorized Alabama Power to build a powerhouse at Holt Lock and Dam. Both Bankhead Lock and Damand Holt Lock and Dam are owned by the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army.
In the United States, hydropower has been a mainstay of our national electric power system. It provides 10% of total electric generation nationally, enough to serve the needs of more than 37 million consumers nationwide.
Smith Dam is one of the largest earth and rock-filled dams in the Eastern United States, the Lewis Smith Dam was constructed at the Sipsey Fork tributary. It was named in honor of Lewis Martin Smith, who was president of Alabama Power from 1952 to 1957. Smith Dam was the first of three Alabama Power Company projects on the Warrior River.
Construction Started November 25, 1957
In-Service date September 5, 1961
- Length: 2,200 feet
- Maximum height: 300 feet
- Elevation above sea level: 510 feet
- Area: 21,200 acres
- Shoreline: 500 miles
- Length: 35 miles
- Maximum depth at dam: 264 feet