Engineering the largest deployment of clean, renewable run-of-river hydroelectric generation in the US in decades
American Municipal Power (AMP), a non-profit energy provider, was seeking a way to both diversify their energy portfolio and serve the growing energy demands of their members. Their foresight led them to hydropower—a clean, reliable, renewable energy solution that would meet the needs of their current rate payers and benefit generations to come.
Their goal was to find a cost-effective way to add generating capacity at four of the Ohio River’s 20 dams to capture the natural power of the river. The solution? Our team created four submersible concrete powerhouses—a design choice that didn’t impede the natural flow or affect river navigation. To maximize economy through design repeatability, bulk procurements, and coordinated schedules, all four powerhouses were built simultaneously.
Together with AMP, our team coordinated and collaborated with many federal, state, and local regulators including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This collaboration resulted in beneficial design outcomes realized through joint probable failure mode analysis (PFMA) sessions and the issuance of section 408 permits by the USACE for all four projects—the first ever approvals for a hydropower project at a USACE facility. Additionally, we designed with community in mind by developing wheelchair-accessible recreation and fishing features at each site.
The resulting projects have a combined capacity of more than 300 megawatts: enough energy to power 200,000 homes.
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