The Cedar Cliff dam and hydropower project is located approximately six miles from Cullowhee, in Jackson Country, North Carolina. The dam and hydroelectric facility is owned by Duke Energy and is located downstream of three other hydroelectric projects that are operated as a system.
The primary spillway includes a Tainter gate and the existing auxiliary spillway system includes two fuse plug sections (with different crest/activation elevations). It was determined that the combination of the primary and auxiliary spillway systems were not adequate to safely pass the regulatory-increased Inflow Design Flood (IDF). The construction of a Hydroplus Fusegate system with six semi-labyrinth Fusegates in an enlarged auxiliary spillway channel was selected to increase spillway capacity to safely pass the new IDF which is now the full Probable Maximum Flood (PMF).
Two reduced scale physical models were constructed to determine the required size of a ventilation system for the proposed Cedar Cliff Fusegates and headpond and tailwater levels at each Fusegate for flows up to the sixth Fusegate activating. The tailwater levels were required for design of the Fusegate ballast system.