The City of Hamilton, Ohio, and its partner, American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP), together hold a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop a new, renewable energy, hydroelectric generating facility, called the Meldahl Hydroelectric Project. The Meldahl Project is located on the Ohio River, approximately 40 miles east of Cincinnati, at Foster, Kentucky, near Augusta, Kentucky. The Meldahl Project includes a 105 megawatt "run-of-the-river" hydroelectric plant, under construction at the Captain Anthony B. Meldahl Dam and Locks operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At an estimated construction cost of $504+ million, the hydroelectric turbine powerhouse is being built on the Kentucky side of the river because the locks, used by river traffic, are situated on the Ohio side. The Meldahl Project’s proposed 138 kV transmission line will carry its electricity to the national electric grid by crossing the Ohio River and running approximately 2.2 miles to an existing PJM Interconnect in Clermont County, Ohio.
The Meldahl Project represents a significant economic development investment and will provide a new source of clean, zero emission electric generation. Hydroelectric plant construction will peak with more than 400 construction workers representing a variety of construction trades. Hamilton and AMP have turned the Meldahl Project site over to Alberici/Baker Joint Venture for construction of the facility. The Baker partner in the joint venture is Baker Concrete Construction, headquartered and highly respected in Butler County, Ohio, for which the City of Hamilton is County Seat.
Hamilton owns and operates its own municipal electric system, providing electricity to 29,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers and is a founding member of AMP, its partner in the Meldahl Project. AMP, a non-profit corporation, serves as a joint action agency for a consortium of electric generating and/or distributing cities located in Ohio and several other states. In addition to Hamilton, approximately 47 other cities through membership in AMP are participating in the Meldahl Project. Upon commercial operation, scheduled for 2014, Hamilton’s entitlement is 51.4% of the Meldahl Project’s electric output, with other AMP member communities being entitled to 48.6%.
Questions or comments regarding the Meldahl Project can be directed to the following:
City of Hamilton:
Timothy E. Bigler, Director of Energy Management, (513) 785-7200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Martin, Utilities Engineering Administrator, (513) 785-7200, email@example.com
Kent Carson, Senior Director of Communications, (614) 540-0842, firstname.lastname@example.org
Transmission Line and Substation Project Associated with the Meldahl Hydroelectric Facility
On November 28, 2011, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) authorized the City of Hamilton and AMP to construct a 2.2-mile long 138-kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line in Clermont County. The new transmission line will connect the 105-megawatt Meldahl hydroelectric facility that is under construction in Bracken County, Kentucky to the existing 345-kV Zimmer-Spurlock transmission line in Ohio.
The Meldahl transmission line will provide southwest Ohio with additional low-cost power from a renewable energy resource and enhance service reliability for the region’s municipal electric customers. The project will include a supporting substation where the new line interconnects with the Zimmer-Spurlock line. AMP and Hamilton began construction on the line in 2012. To date, all involved land has been cleared, materials have been delivered, and construction of the lines and substations has begun.
Meldahl Project Monthly Update, Through January 2014
The installation of the turbines is approximately 50% complete and approximately 107,390 (of 111,370) cubic yards of concrete has been poured to date. Concrete work for the powerhouse structure is approximately 98% complete. To date, roughly 12 million pounds of steel reinforcement has been placed at the project, representing approximately 99% of the total required to complete the project. There are approximately 350 people currently working at the site, including construction workers, contract administrators, engineers, inspection personnel, and support staff. Component parts are currently either being manufactured or procured. Overall, the Meldahl Project is over 80% complete.
For additional details and photos on the Meldahl Project, click here, to visit the AMP website. Additional photos of construction at the Meldahl Project site can also be found by clicking here.
Meldahl Fun Fact: The Meldahl facilities, when completed, will be over 80 feet tall; however, the hydroelectric turbines and other generating parts must be installed to meet tolerances requiring accuracy within fractions of a millimeter!