Ohio-based American Municipal Power Inc. on Sept. 6 announced the completion of its recent hydropower development effort, which AMP said is the largest of its kind in the U.S.
AMP constructed four run-of-the-river hydropower plants at existing locks and dams along the Ohio River in Kentucky and West Virginia.
The projects are delivering more than 300 MW of new renewable energy to 83 participating AMP member systems across five states. The projects consist of 11 separate hydro turbines and represent nearly $3 billion in investment. The development effort took 10 years including licensing, permitting and construction.
“These valuable assets are part of AMP’s commitment to further diversify our power supply portfolio,” said Marc Gerken, president/CEO of AMP. “These facilities will provide long-term value and reliability to our participating members, while providing further diversification and a level of insulation from future regulation.”
The hydropower projects include the Smithland plant, the Cannelton plant and the Willow Island plant, along with the Meldahl plant.
AMP developed the Meldahl plant in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Ohio, an AMP member.
The Meldahl hydroelectric plant last year came into full commercial operation and started providing power to the city of Hamilton and the other 47 AMP member communities in several states that are participating in the project.
AMP noted that hydroelectric generation “has long provided a number of benefits, including renewable energy, favorable capacity factors, low operation and maintenance costs, and an 80-100 year lifespan.”
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy indicated that the U.S. has the potential to increase capacity from hydro by nearly 50 percent by 2050, AMP noted.