Operation seen in 2007 for Arkansas’ 11.3-MW White River projects

Three small hydropower projects totaling 11.3 MW are to begin full operation in 2007 along a 20-mile stretch of Arkansas’ White River.

Licensees are planning an event for April to recognize construction milestones for 3.9-MW White River Lock and Dam No. 1, 3.5-MW No. 2, and 3.9-MW No. 3.

Independence County, Ark., issued tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance the projects, which were conceived in the early 1980s to generate local revenue. The county is licensee for Lock and Dam Nos. 2 and 3 and is developing Lock and Dam No. 1 for the city of Batesville, Ark., the licensee.

The projects are being built at or near existing locks and dams at a cost of about $32 million.

The Corps of Engineers built the locks and dams for navigation in the early 1900s. The locks were used for navigation until the mid-1950s, when the Corps decommissioned them. At that time, Lock and Dam No. 1 was sold to the city of Batesville, and Nos. 2 and 3 were sold to private interests.

White River Lock &Dam No. 3

White River No. 3 (No. 4659) already is operating on a limited basis. Although it was declared substantially complete Aug. 22, 2006, it is not expected to achieve full capacity until a 3-foot concrete cap is installed on the dam. While that work might not be completed until December 2007, No. 3 is generating at about half capacity and selling electricity to the Clarksville, Ark., municipal utility.

The powerhouse is built on land adjacent to the dam on the opposite side of the river from the lock. It is named the Shelby M. Knight Hydro Plant in honor of the family that leased property to the county, which owns most of the project property.

White River Lock &Dam No. 2

White River No. 2 (No. 4660) is about 12 miles downstream from No. 3. At the end of 2006, the powerhouse, built inside the lock, was complete, and electrical and mechanical work was in progress. The county, which owns the property encompassing the project, anticipates the facility will be on line and construction complete by July 1, 2007.

White River Lock &Dam No. 1

White River No. 1 (No. 4204) is eight miles downstream of No. 2 within the city of Batesville. At the end of 2006, civil work was progressing at the site, including excavation and work with concrete and rebar. The powerhouse, also built inside the lock, is expected to be on line and complete by Sept. 30, 2007. Batesville owns property at the project.

Contractors, suppliers served all three projects

North American Hydro LLC (Wis.) and subcontractor Hatch/Acres International were responsible for project management and engineering. North American Hydro also was responsible for balance-of-plant mechanical and electrical work.

TransTec Construction Inc., which provided transmission line and design and construction services, also assumed project management and quality assurance duties formerly performed by North American Hydro following expiration of a contract. North American Hydro and Hatch/Acres remained associated with the projects through a time and materials arrangement.

Mobley Contractors and subcontractor Koontz Electric performed civil construction, while VA Tech Canada provided turbine-generator equipment. Crist Engineers was the owner’s representative and served as independent engineer.

TransTec Consulting to manage, operate

TransTec Consulting of Conway, Ark., an affiliate of TransTec Construction, is to manage, operate, and maintain the plants. Electricity from all three will be sold to Clarksville Light &Water Corp., owned by the city of Clarksville, under a power purchase agreement. Southwestern Power Administration is to transmit power to Clarksville under long-term agreement.

Lyon College, a liberal arts college, is to share in net benefits of all three projects in return for participating in the cost of permitting and licensing, and for donating property for construction of Lock and Dam Nos. 2 and 3.

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