*In development with the City of Hamilton, OH
Responding to growing demand for clean energy, recognizing the benefits of hydropower as a sustainable natural resource, and having successfully collaborated on the Belleville Hydropower Project in the 1990s, AMP and MWH joined forces once again in 2007. The goal was to find a cost-effective way to add generating capacity at four of the Ohio River’s 20 workhorse dams. MWH delivered the solution in the form of the design for four concrete powerhouses containing a total of eleven 25.3-foot diameter bulb turbine generators that can power more than 150,000 homes annually, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.7 million metric tons each year. Eliminating one metric ton of CO2 is equivalent to more than 2,380 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
Our project management team employed both innovative and standardized design features to solve challenges that had hindered earlier development of the project sites. Each of the powerhouses, cofferdams and adjoining structures were constructed nearly simultaneously while maximizing efforts among more than 50 contractors and suppliers in order to minimize risk and cost. The flood-proof, monolithic reinforced concrete powerhouses’ pioneering structural and geotechnical designs reduced the need for costly foundation elements and reduced each project’s footprint. Designed to have minimal impact on river ecology and hydrology, the structures maintain the river’s natural flow while supporting development of a host of facilities for recreation and fishing complete with wheelchair access. MWH provided support to AMP throughout a very difficult and challenging permitting and licensing process, helping to highlight the need for regulatory reform and improved processes for future hydropower development.
Hydropower is increasing in importance as a major clean energy solution and is a requisite part of long-term, sustainable energy infrastructure. Built to last, the Ohio River hydropower plants will help AMP and its participating member communities in five states enjoy low-cost, reliable power for generations to come thanks to a renewed river resource.