Ward Mill P-9842

General information

Waterway  Watauga River
Current status   Removed 
Type of facility Conventional Hydro
Mode of hydropower generation Run-of-river
Type of permit FERC License
Year built 1964
Year retired 2021
Year removed 2021
External news story View

FERC information

FERC docket # P-9842

Ownership and operation

Owner Ward, Ray F.
Owner type Private Non-utility
Year first online (conventional hydro) 1986

Power and generating capacity

Number of units 2
Total capacity from hydraulic turbine-generator units within each plant 0.2 MW
Average annual net hydropower generation 493.0 MWH

Ward’s Mill Dam on the Watauga River in NC was removed in 2021 after the owners chose not to renew the license for power generation and removed the dam with the assistance of three nonprofits; American Rivers, Mountain True and Blue Ridge RC&D. The dam, constructed by the owner’s father in 1964 to replace a wood dam in the same location, was used to power a sawmill, a grain mill and, ultimately, to provide power. By the time the last license expired in 2016, it was clear that the previous functions of the dam were no longer viable. The owners wanted the dam removed to restore the river, allowing the free flowing river to provide improved habitat to wildlife and safer recreation.

Learn more about Ward’s Mill dam, the removal, and the Watauga River here.

Read local coverage of the removal here.



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