The High Rock development is located on the Yadkin River at river mile 253 in Davidson, Davie, and Rowan counties, North Carolina. Completed in 1927, the High Rock development was the third of the Yadkin Project developments to be built and is the most upstream of the four Yadkin Project developments. The High Rock development consists of a dam, powerhouse, and reservoir. High Rock Reservoir has a normal full pool area of approximately 15,180 acres and a drainage area of 3,973 square miles. The normal full pool elevation of High Rock Reservoir is 623.9 feet (USGS datum).
The High Rock powerhouse is integral with the dam and is located immediately downstream of the intake structure. The powerhouse contains three vertical Francis turbine units directly connected to generators. Each unit has a licensed capacity of 13.2 MW (total licensed capacity is 39.60 MW). The plant is automated and is remotely controlled from Alcoa, Tennessee.
The High Rock development is operated in a store and release mode in accordance with an operating guide or "rule curve". The operating guide, reviewed and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), was established in 1968. Based on available streamflow, the operating guide calls for recreational elevations from mid-May to mid-September, followed by a fall-winter drawdown to refill the reservoir during the spring runoff.
The operating guidelines require Yadkin to discharge a minimum amount of water to satisfy downstream needs. During drought conditions, greater than normal drawdown of the reservoir can occur. However, based on historical data, High Rock Lake is normally no less than five feet below full between Memorial Day and Labor Day.