Member Spotlight Archive

New Martinsville, West Virginia

More Than Two Decades of Hydroelectric Experience

As AMP constructs three hydroelectric facilities on the Ohio River, it’s nothing new for one of its member communities. The city of New Martinsville, West Virginia has been reaping the benefits of run-of-the-river hydropower for over 20 years.

New Martinsville owns and operates the New Martinsville Hydroelectric Plant at the Hannibal Locks and Dam. New Martinsville is one of only two municipal electric systems in West Virginia. At the time of its construction in 1988, its twin bulb turbine generators were among the largest in the world. Each is capable of creating 18 MW of hydroelectric power, enough to power seven cities the size of New Martinsville.

According to Plant Manager Chuck Stora, who has worked at the plant since it started operation, the pressure required to drive the plant’s two turbines – 28,000 cubic feet of water per second – would fill a pair of football field-sized swimming pools with 10 feet of water in just 10 seconds.

New Martinsville is the county seat of Wetzel County and was incorporated as a town in 1838. Originally named Martinsville, the town was officially renamed in 1871 to distinguish it from Martinsville, Virginia (also a member of AMP). New Martinsville serves nearly 1,800 meters and participates in the following AMP projects: Prairie State Energy Campus, Hydro project, Mutual Aid, and is a RP3 designated utility by the American Public Power Association.

New Martinsville gained national notoriety in 1925 when Gloria Swanson’s film “Stage Struck” was filmed in and around the city. In recent years, the city was in the news when native son Bill Stewart became the head football coach at West Virginia University. New Martinsville also hosts the annual Wetzel County Fair called Town & Country Days.