According to the National Hydropower Association, one of the best power sources to tap in the United States are non-powered dams. Because they are already built, there is little to no disturbance to the environment when adding hydropower technology. It is estimated that only 3 percent of dams in the country are equipped to produce hydropower today and if all of the existing dams were fitted with hydropower technology the total hydropower generation capacity would increase by 12.1 GW.
In Ohio, American Municipal Power (AMP), a nonprofit energy provider, worked with MWH Global to design run-of-river hydropower facilities adjacent to four existing dams along the Ohio River, adding more than 300 MW of clean electricity generation capacity.
The AMP projects, which include Willow Island, Cannelton, Meldahl and Smithland, make up three-quarters of the hydropower projects currently under construction in the U.S. Check out the video to learn more about this exciting technology.
The Cannelton Hydroelectric Project was the first of AMP’s four run-of-the-river hydro projects currently under construction to break ground, in 2009. The 88-MW Cannelton plant is located on the Ohio River near Hawesville, Kentucky. Credit: MWH Global.