- The Ohio River is the site of significant new hydropower, with federal officials estimating capacity along its banks will grow from 313 W to 554 MW after several ongoing projects are completed.
- American Municipal Power this year has commissioned two hydro units, bringing its Meldahl plant to full commercial operation and beginning operation of the first unit at Willow Island.
- The Associated Press reports new hydro capacity added along the Ohio River this year will be sufficient to power 320,000 homes and will help keep rates stable as more stringent carbon regulations come into effect.
The addition of new hydroelectric generating capacity could help customers in Kentucky and West Virginia weather new environmental regulations some utilities fear will push up rates.
AMP President and CEO Marc Gerken said earlier this year that the facilities "will help insulate us from future carbon regulations and will be a long-term benefit for our members.” The projects "represent a continued commitment to sustainable generation and a diversified member portfolio."
In January, the company announced that Unit 1 at the Willow Island hydroelectric plant in West Virginia began commercial operations, supplying power to 79 participating AMP communities in five states. Then in April, AMP brought the Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant in Kentucky into full operation, providing power to Hamilton, Ohio, as well as 47 communities in four states that were involved with the project.
Combined, AMP has four projects it is working to bring online, adding more than 300 MW of new hydropower. According to the company, it's the largest deployment of new run-of-the-river hydro in the nation.
Meldhal Unit 3 was declared in commercial operation in April; Units 1 and 2 began earlier in the year. The project was developed through a partnership of the city of Hamilton and AMP, and produces 293 MW.