Groundbreaking set for first of five Ohio River hydro plants

American Municipal Power Inc. is to break ground on the first of five Ohio River hydropower plants on Aug. 5, 2009, near Hawesville, Ky.

Construction of the 84-MW Cannelton project (No. 10228) begins in August at the Corps of Engineers’ Cannelton Locks and Dam.

Cannelton is one of five hydropower plants AMP plans to build on the Ohio River totaling 344 MW. The utility already operates the 42-MW Belleville project (No. 6939) on the Ohio.

The other four projects are; 105-MW Meldahl (No. 12667); 48-MW Robert C. Byrd (No. 12796); 72-MW Smithland (No. 6641); and 35-MW Willow Island (No. 6902). AMP also is working with Tri-Cities Power Authority on a feasibility study for the 25.8-MW Bluestone Dam on the New River in West Virginia.

Voith Hydro is supplying turbine-generators and other equipment to Cannelton under a 2008 contract totaling more than $300 million that also includes equipment for Smithland and Willow Island. Voith is equipping Meldahl under a separate $122.9 million contract. (HydroWorld 3/17/09)

The utility secured federal approval in March of a proposed power sales contract with municipalities from several states that will help finance construction of Cannelton, Smithland, and Willow Island. (HydroWorld 3/17/09)

AMP recently changed its name from American Municipal Power-Ohio to reflect its service to 128 electric systems in six states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It said the additional hydropower capacity is part of an aggressive plan to reduce the company’s “over-exposure to the volatile and dysfunctional wholesale market.” (HydroWorld 7/16/09)

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