Hydroelectric Power

American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) has developed multiple hydroelectric projects in the region, representing the largest deployment of clean, renewable run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation in the country.

Leading the Way in Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric power is the most prevalent form of renewable energy used to generate electricity today. Hydroelectric generation is far more dependable than other forms of renewable generation.

National Hydropower Association Video




The Belleville Hydroelectric Facility

The Belleville Hydroelectric Plant is a 42 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant providing renewable generation to the region.

The Belleville plant diverts water from the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Belleville Locks and Dam. Besides the 42 MW Belleville Hydroelectric Plant, the joint venture consists of approximately 26.5 miles of 138-kilovolt transmission facilities and fifteen 1.8 MW diesel reciprocating generating units. In May 2016, the 15 diesel units were restricted to emergency use only generation. During 2017, the participants approved selling the diesel assets, and sale and decommissioning is currently in progress.

The Belleville Locks and Dam are located near Belleville, West Virginia, southwest of Marietta, Ohio. The Belleville Hydroelectric Plant is on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, on the opposite shore of the locks.

The plant reached full commercial operation in 1999.

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Member-operated Hydroelectric

Eight AMP member communities operate locally-owned hydroelectric facilities. These include the cities of Columbus, Bryan and Hamilton in Ohio, Bedford, Danville and Martinsville in Virginia, Union City in Michigan and New Martinsville in West Virginia.

These facilities have a combined capacity of more than 132 MW.

A new generation of hydroelectric facilities

AMP has developed four hydroelectric projects adding more than 300 MW of new, renewable generation to the region. These run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities are installed on existing dams on the Ohio River.

For more information regarding hydroelectric power projects, please contact Phil Meier, vice president of hydroelectric development and operations, at 614.540.1111 or pmeier@amppartners.org.

Hydroelectric Projects

Phase 1 Hydroelectric Project

The Phase I Hydroelectric Project includes the run-of-the-river generating facilities at the Cannelton, Smithland and Willow Island dams on the Ohio River. Seventy-nine AMP member communities are participating in the project.

The Project consists of three run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation facilities located on United States Army Corps of Engineers dams on the Ohio River and associated transmission facilities: 

The Cannelton Project is located on the Kentucky shore of the Cannelton Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, utilizes three 29.3 MW turbines and has a total rated capacity of 88 MW.  The first unit of the Cannelton Project entered commercial operation in January 2016, the second unit entered commercial operation in March 2016 and the third and final unit entered commercial operation in June 2016. 

The Smithland Project is located on the Kentucky shore of the Smithland Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, utilizes three 25.3 MW turbines and has a total rated capacity at 76 MW.  The first and second units at the Smithland Project entered commercial operation in July 2017 and the third unit entered commercial operation in September 2017.

The Willow Island Project is located on the West Virginia shore of the Willow Island Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, utilizes two 22 MW turbines and has a total rated capacity of 44 MW.  The first unit at the Willow Island Project entered commercial operation in January 2016 and the second and final unit at Willow Island Project entered commercial operation in February 2016.

AMP holds the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) licenses necessary to operate each of the projects.

Cannelton Hydro Plant

The Cannelton Hydroelectric Project is an 88 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant providing renewable generation to the region. The facility is located on the Ohio River near Hawesville, Kentucky.

The Cannelton Project diverts water from the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cannelton Locks and Dam through bulb turbines anticipated to generate an average annual output of approximately 458 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The site includes an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. The powerhouse contains three horizontal bulb-type turbine and generating units with a total rated capacity of 88 MW.

The Cannelton Locks and Dam are located near Hawesville, Kentucky. The Cannelton hydroelectric plant is on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, on the opposite shore of the locks.

The plant reached full commercial operation in June 2016.

Smithland Hydro Plant

The Smithland Hydroelectric Project is a 76 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant providing renewable generation to the region. The plant is located near Smithland, Kentucky.

The Smithland Project diverts water from the existing U.S. Army Corps Smithland Locks and Dam through bulb turbines anticipated to generate an average annual output of approximately 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The site includes an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. The powerhouse houses three horizontal bulb-type turbine and generating units with an estimated total rated capacity of 76 MW. A 2-mile-long 161 kV transmission line interconnection connects the plant to MISO.

Smithland is located approximately 62 river miles upstream of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, in Livingston County, Ky. The Smithland hydroelectric plant is on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, on the opposite shore of the locks.

The plant reached full commercial operation in September, 2017.

Willow Island Hydro Plant

The Willow Island Hydroelectric Project is a 44 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant that provides renewable generation to the region. The facility is located near St. Marys, West Virginia, on the Ohio River.

The Willow Island Project diverts water from the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Willow Island Locks and Dam through bulb turbines anticipated to generate an average annual output of approximately 239 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The site includes an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. The powerhouse includes two horizontal bulb-type turbine and generating units with an estimated total capacity of 44 MW.

The Willow Island Locks and Dam are located in Pleasants County, West Virginia, approximately 162 river miles downstream of Point Bridge, Pittsburgh. The Willow Island hydroelectric plant is on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, on the opposite shore of the locks.

The plant reached full commercial operational in February 2016.

Meldahl Hydro Plant

The Meldahl Hydroelectric Project is a 108.8 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant providing renewable generation to the region. The facility is the largest hydroelectric power plant on the Ohio River.The Meldahl Project diverts water from the existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Meldahl Locks and Dam through bulb turbines anticipated to generate an average annual output of approximately 558 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The site includes an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. The powerhouse contains three horizontal bulb-type turbine and generating units with a total rated capacity of 108.8 MW.

The Captain Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam are located near Maysville, Kentucky, approximately an hour southeast of Cincinnati. The Meldahl hydroelectric plant is on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, on the opposite shore of the locks.

The plant reached full commercial operation in April 2016.

Greenup Hydro Plant

The Greenup Hydroelectric Plant is a 70.2 MW power plant located near Portsmouth, Ohio. In connection with the development of the Meldahl Project, Hamilton agreed to sell and AMP agreed to purchase a 48.6% undivided ownership interest in the Greenup Hydroelectric Plant. Hamilton retains title to a 51.4% ownership interest in the Greenup Hydroelectric Plant. Forty-seven AMP member communities are participating in the project.